Holly Madden is throwing her cowgirl hat into a new arena, taking up the Australian Rodeo Queen Quest for 2020.
The Caniambo local will step into a new world when she heads to the Gold Coast next year as part of the quest, with the glitz and glamour of the rodeo foreign territory for the 24-year-old.
Holly said it was the backing of a family friend that encouraged her put her hat in the ring.
“I heard about it from a family friend, she likes to mentor people every year for it,” Holly said.
“This year she said she would like to help me.
“I didn’t even know they did these sorts of things. I’m not overly in the rodeo scene.
“But I do a lot of horsemanship and most western disciplines.”
And it was the promise of personal growth that got Holly most excited to take up the challenge.
“It was an opportunity to get involved in a different world, grow as a person, meet a lot of different people and learn a lot of new things,” Holly said.
“There is a lot of self-personal growth, which is what I’m looking forward to the most.”
Before Holly heads off to the sunshine state for judging week, she’ll be hard at work fundraising and promoting the rodeo scene in the local community over the next 12 months.
“You want to promote the industry, you want to promote the good things, and to show everyone that despite of the negativity, great things are happening,” Holly said.
Holly’s love of horses was first fostered when she moved to her father's Caniambo property just under a decade ago.
It's here she transfers her caring nature, something also reflected in her vocation as a nurse in Shepparton, into rehabilitating horses once thought long gone.
“As I’ve grown up, we’ve gotten more young horses that I’ve broken in, which is mainly what I’ve been doing in the last couple years,” Holly said.
“But we also work with horses who have had issues and rehabilitate them to be able to socialise.
“It’s something I really enjoy doing.
“It saves a horse from living a more horrible life if you can help them.
“You don’t say ‘oh no, it’s too far gone'.
“Growth is continual, and it enhances the horses’ life.”
● To help support Holly’s fundraising efforts, you can donate to the following account:
Account number: 185328757
BSB Number: 802 707
Name: Australian Rodeo Queen Quest Incorporated