It's less than four years since the fledgling Forbes Ranch Sorting and Penning club held its first clinic, and our riders have absolutely shone at the sport's national championships.
The local club took out reserve champion honours in the Club of Origin competition, and riders have claimed a swag of individual prizes as well.
Eight local riders headed to Tamworth for the titles earlier this month, and they've got plenty to celebrate.
Bella Davie won the Challenge of Champions 13 to 17 years, and was reserve champion for the age group for the season.
She teamed up with Ally Walsh to take out first place in the #4 non-handicap class, and then third in that class with Shane Davie.
Bella also claimed a second and a third in the #10 handicap class, while Ally was placed fifth in the overall pointscore for 2021/2022.
Melissa West placed first in her Western Heritage class - #3 and under - and fifth in the Western Heritage all levels paired with Natalie Mihalic.
Natalie also claimed a third in the All Levels.
Forbes' Molly Fuge took out the number four placing in the All Levels.
Carman Nash was named Reserve Champion Beginner for 2021/2022 and Grace Frazer qualified in the top 30 in the #10 handicap competition.
Shane Davie brought home third and fourth in the #4 non-handicap.
Forbes Ranch Sorting and Penning's Melissa West described the results as "fantastic", they show just how far the club's riders have come in a few short and very disrupted years.
If you haven't been over to a ranch sorting and penning event yet, riders work in pairs to draft cattle in numeric order - but each pair is allocated a different starting number.
One rider goes into the pen, the other works the gate.
Taking out reserve champion in the "club of origin" challenge at the nationals was a real honour for the Forbes riders.
"Each club had to put together a team and you had to have riders of a certain rating (from junior through masters, beginner and rookie to amateur and open," Melissa explained.
Forbes riders actually stepped up to ride at higher gradings to fulfil Forbes' commitments, with the club thrilled to come in second overall.
"There were lots of cheers, it was pretty exciting," Melissa said.
"We competed against riders from South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia - all over, it was a true national championship."
The season leading up to national championships has been an extended one due to COVID-19 and related restrictions, so it was thrilling for the riders to finally get the chance to compete at this level.
"There is a real sense of camaraderie and community in the sport," Melissa said.
"It's really social and a family sport.
"You ride in pairs and teams and the rating system helps to encourage the more experienced riders to ride with the new riders - the more experienced riders really enjoy showing and teaching."
The Forbes club has had to postpone its planned July event due to flooding on site, but they've got another in the planning for November.
For the long term, Melissa is delighted Forbes has received funding to build an undercover equestrian arena that will give so much more certainty to future planning.
Despite the challenges of the past couple of years and the disruption to events, members have persisted with their training.
They regularly travel to Dubbo for clinics and competition in addition to the events they've hosted locally, and there are other ways to train as well.
"It's working on those lateral movements and all those things we get encouraged to do at Pony Club," Melissa said.
Moving sheep, she adds, is also great training.
"I encourage people to get off their horse, it's also about moving in a calm manner," she said.
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