Darryl rides away with state title
DARRYL Hawke isn't your average pony clubber.
This junior all-rounder is Queensland's newest 13-14 age champion after beating his rivals at the State Pony Club Formal Gymkhana Championships in Chinchilla recently.
However, the win didn't come easy, with young Hawke in the saddle from sunrise to sunset to earn him his first state title.
"It was a bit of shock to start off with," a modest Darryl explained.
"Everybody was clapping and cheering."
Consistency was the key to Darryl's result, with the youngster requiring top placings across the eight different categories during the day's competition.
"It's like an all-round pony clubber award," his mum Fay said.
"There's a variety, not just one type of event… there's the sporting and rider class, stockman challenge and presentation..."
Starting at 6.30am and running through to around 5pm, it took all the concentration Darryl could muster to stay on top of the points standings.
"He would have had eight hours in the saddle easily," Fay said. "It's a big day.
"At about halfway through he was leading by a couple of points. I said to him that if he rode well and stayed consistent, he was in with a pretty good chance.
"He seemed pretty determined on the day."
After his superb run at the state championships which included a first, third and two second placings, Faye said the championship win was all Darryl's.
"He came up to me afterwards and said 'Mum I remembered what you said...
"If it's to be, it's up to me'."
Fay added that while others can help him out with training and preparation, come competition time the incentive to win has to come from within.
"On the day there is nobody else that can help him but himself," she said.
And it wasn't just Darryl feeling the strain of top competition, with his horse Buck also deserving of some rest and relaxation.
"He (Buck) was pretty tired," Darryl said.
"He pretty much slept all the next day."
Having achieved the one of the biggest awards the state has to offer in pony club for his age division, Darryl is already looking ahead.
"I'd like to get one or two more gold medals," he said.
"And get in a Queensland side to compete in New South Wales."
In the meantime, Darryl will be kicking back for some rest himself over the summer holidays before resuming training for next year's state meets.
"He'll train for nine months of year for these sorts of events," Fay said.