Character and pure passion
WHEN Theebine's Dany Iker was seven years old, she rode in her first state eventing and dressage championship in Bundaberg.
She fell from her horse three times on the first day.
"I cried from the embarrassment," Dany said.
Someone with less character might have stopped competing.
Instead she threw herself into competition with more passion than ever.
"It just made me more determined," she said.
Now 21, Dany has finished in the top 10 consistently in state eventing championships over the years, including finishing second in the state in 2009.
Her big dream is to compete at the national eventing and dressage titles next year.
She has travelled all over the state competing in dressage and eventing.
Making the experience all the more enjoyable for her is her horse, Adelphi, who has a special story of her own.
Dany's family has owned Adelphi since she was six weeks old.
She was orphaned and refused to take a bottle, so her family had to put milk powder into her feed.
Adelphi has had a few health problems, including undergoing an operation for a four-inch hernia when she was a yearling.
Dany has been riding her competitively for the past four years.
"She's my pride and joy," Dany said.
"She was an ugly duckling and now she's a pretty little swan.
"She's just a super horse to ride."
Dany said sometimes people asked her what made her compete.
"It really is a passion," she said.
"People say it looks scary - it is an adrenaline rush. I love it.
"I've grown up riding."