Fourteen-year-old Jarna White started 2019 with a new horse and some big dreams.
The Year 9 Scone Grammar School student, who is a keen horse rider and barrel racer, sparked an instant relationship with her new companion Whiskey.
Jarna and Whiskey competed every month since February with the Hunter Barrel Horse Association (HBHA) and through lots of dedication, commitment and perseverance, one of those dreams was realised.
At the finalisation of the 2019 barrel racing season, Jarna and Whiskey were crowned the HBHA 11-14 years Junior Barrel Racing Champions.
"It was very exciting," Jarna said.
"It was something that I had been wanting for a few years.
"So to get it for the first year with Whiskey, that was really good."
On top of this achievement, Jarna was the only junior to place in the Open 1st Division competition and was among the top five fastest horses for the year.
Jarna and Whiskey received a beautiful buckle and prizes from the club and the major sponsors Tuffrock Australia, Magna Body Works and Fairy Dust Sisters.
However Jarna admitted it wasn't always smooth sailing to get Whiskey to where she wanted her to be.
"It took a lot of work," she said.
"She was good when we first got her on the barrels but then she was knocking drums for about three months.
"She's a really smart horse, if I don't work for it or do something wrong she makes me work for it.
"Then I got everything right and I picked it back up, so I've really got to ride her and make it a team effort."
Jarna praised the people behind her who have encouraged her along the journey.
It's this support that helped her secure her first major sponsorship with Julie Flanagan's 'Majik' heading into the 2020 barrel season.
"Julie who runs Cloverleaf Cruisers is my new sponsor with Majik which is a vitamin and minerals supplement for the horses," Jarna said.
Jarna joins some big names in Australian barrel racing on the Majik team including Adele Edwards who has won everything there is to win in the country.
"I'm very proud to be a part of Team Majik, which will see me becoming teammates with many of the barrel racers that I look up to," she added.
Jarna gave a special thank you to Kerri Badior, former Australian barrel champion and all round cowgirl, who is also on the Majik team.
Badior has been a mentor to Jarna, and she looks forward to representing the brand well, learning as much as she can and giving it her all.
"When I had a bit of trouble with Whiskey she helped me through that," she said.
An Upper Hunter local, Jarna has been heavily involved in local clubs including Murrurundi Pony Club has competed in the Murrurundi Junior Stockman's Challenge, Hunter Barrel Horse Association, is a member of the Australian Barrel Horse Association, a regular competitor at the National Finals in Tamworth and is a member of Cloverleaf Cruisers at Murrurundi.
Stepping up an age group and facing tougher competition in 2020, Jarna said she hopes for another good year.
"And another buckle to top it off, if I get lucky," she added.