BRILLIANT BUCKLE: Woodford Island 17-year-old Cody Ensby with Peppy who he rode to win the Australian Quarter Horse Association junior campdraft pointscore.
BRILLIANT BUCKLE: Woodford Island 17-year-old Cody Ensby with Peppy who he rode to win the Australian Quarter Horse Association junior campdraft pointscore. Adam Hourigan

Ensby's shining year earns national gong

CAMPDRAFT: When Woodford Island's Cody Ensby steps up onto his horse affectionately known as Peppy in competition he knows he is in safe hoofs.

The connection between the pair has grown over the years of campdrafts and after a strong run across 2015/16 Ensby was awarded the highest National youth pointscore for campdraft at the Australian Quarter Horse Association awards.

The national honour which is awarded to the competitor who has amassed the highest points across all campdraft events they competed in which, after a heavily rain affected campaign, was a tough achievement for the junior.

It has been a crowning achievement for the entire Ensby family with parents Ric and Pru and younger brother Jeremy all helping the 17-year-old "cattle whisperer” to victory.

"It is a bit of a team thing,” Pru said. "We are down in the yards as the kids go in, we all have a go at picking out the cattle.

"But once they run it outside the boys are on their own and both of them are more than capable.

"The boys just have a knack for reading cattle and working out what their next move is.”

Ensby said her and Ric had been following the pointscore results for most of the year so had a fair idea Cody was in line for the award but for the teenager it was a major shock.

"He was just completely speechless,” she said. "He couldn't go to the awards but they posted up his award buckle. As soon as he opened it his face just lit up. It is a massive buckle.”

While Ensby has just started his Year 12 studies there is no chance of taking him away from the campdraft arena with the buckle ready to be worn to the next event at Inverell next weekend.



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