Kundabung cowboy Levi Ward has added another trophy to his collection, winning the Coutts Crossing junior steer riding title.
The eight-year-old boy beat riders up to four years his senior, registering a personal best score of 82 points on his way to the title.
Levi has dominated junior steer riding in his young career, backed by his family, who travel thousands of kilometres a year so he can compete in the rodeo arena.
He rode in the under-eights until he turned eight in March, and now he is in the under-11 category and he’s still winning.
His father, Dean said Levi’s been going very well, especially considering he only took up riding steers three years ago.
"He bugged me for ages to make a training ring for him at home, so eventually I did and he's always out there practising."
He has now got two big awards. He won the under-11s steer right at Coonambula three weeks ago, and then he won the under 11 steer ride at Coutts Crossing.
“He is only a little kid and it’s a pretty big steer,” said his fatjer.
Levi likes horse-riding, and when he was very small, he decided he wanted to start riding steers.
He’s won lots of titles, trophies and buckles.
“We have a farm and he wanted to do it,” said Dean, “And now we travel somewhere in Australia every weekend.”
Levi practises once a week and he’s getting better and better. He attends Telegraph Point Public School and they help him out a lot with his education, considering he spends a lot of time on the road.
Riding steers is not without its dangers. Levi has had three operations so far in his young life.
He’s one of six children, aged 22 down to six, and he’s the second youngest.
When his mother had to spend two days in hospital with him in March this year, she wasn’t too happy about his chosen sport. A steer had bruised Levi’s liver really badly, but it didn’t put him off.
“Since then, he’s done nothing but have great success,” said his father. “He’s even better on a horse,” he added.
Dean is very proud of his plucky son, although he says Levi costs him a lot of money, with all his travelling and competing.