Dalby boy shines at Sydney's Royal Easter Show
THE largest show in Australia hasn't flustered Dalby's Darby Ryan, who has walked away as a national champion.
Darby was competing in the National Youth Judging for the Australian Stock Horse Society at the Sydney Royal Easter Show this week, and won the competition despite being the youngest entrant.
Darby's father Jim Ryan said his son had always had a natural talent when it came to dealing with horses.
"He's been involved with stock horses all his life, but he's only started judging and competing in the last two years,” Mr Ryan said.
"We run the Dalby Stock Horse Sale and Darby helps a lot at that.
"The beauty about Darby is he knows the front end and the back end of a horse. I was very confident he knew what he was looking at. He's a very good judge of a horse.”
At just 15 years old, Darby was up against 21-year-olds, yet proved his wealth of knowledge to the judges who had no choice but to give Darby the champion's trophy.
Mr Ryan said it was great a Dalby boy could go to one of the most prestigious events on the calendar and claim a major prize.
"This is the first major event he's been in - he was the youngest competitor,” he said.
"Darby was picked for Queensland and he was up against people from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
"There was another 10 or so New South Wales kids competing for the New South Wales title, so he beat them too.
"I didn't think he'd won it, I thought he'd walk over and they'd just give him a ribbon. So I've gone, 'oh my god he's won it'.
"He was very humble. He doesn't show too much emotion, Darbs.”
Becoming a national champion has certainly made the perfect Easter gift for the Our Lady of the Southern Cross College student - and is no doubt the start of a promising career.