Teenager outstanding in saddle and takes out national title
YOUNG Matthew Moffat proudly wears a "feather in his cowboy cap" these days.
As the juvenile Australian Campdraft Association champion for 2014, the Kabra teenager and keen horse rider has more than every right to.
His family - mum Barbara and his dad Kerry - were oozing with pride when Matthew, 16, won the ACA juvenile campdraft at Nebo, south-west of Mackay, in April.
His brother Damien, 26, travelled from Blackwater to watch his younger sibling tear up the course in Nebo.
The Cathedral College Year 12 student has only been riding since he was 11-years-old, when he took part in his first gymkhana.
But, the way he has taken to the saddle over the past six years, with help from his mentor Ricky Hopkins, it's like he was born into riding horses, his mum Barbara says.
Scores of blue ribbons and trophies adorn the walls inside Matthew's home - an affirmation of the young teen's success in the draft arena. Over the past year, Matthew, his parents, their horses and dogs have attended 55 campdrafts across Queensland and New South Wales.
They have spent countless hours on the road, trying to get to each drafting event.
But, the thousands of kilometres they have invested into each trip paid off when Matthew won a championship cheque, two "buckles" and the Tom Gleeson trophy for the national juvenile campdraft event in April.
On top of his national title, he won the Mulgildie open, including the Mulgildie Campdrafter of the weekend award, earlier this year.
He first started competing when he rode in a campdraft in Springsure.
"He rides every day and is an amazing inspiration for other riders," Barbara said.
"He wasn't allowed to compete in campdrafting events if he didn't finish grade 12... but he is absolutely dedicated to it."