Since he was knee-high to a grasshopper John Robertson has lived and breathed horses, with his passion leading him to a dedicated career both in and out of the saddle.
John is one of the many competitors who took to the arena at Childers Show on Saturday and each time he sat up high on his gelding Threepence, you couldn’t wipe the smile from his face.
For John, the Childers Show is a little more special than other horse competitions as it’s home.
He, along with wife Rhonda, train horses from their Booyal property.
John is also a valued show committee member after joining in the early 80s when he moved to the region.
“It is really terrific to have the Childers Show return this year,” John said.
“I’ve been to Taroom, Mundubbera, Eidsvold, Gympie and Biggenden Shows, and here has been the best.
“Childers Show is good for the community and it’s good for the sport.”
When John makes a jump on the back of Threepence, the 17-hand high Warmblood, he makes it look effortless.
The 67-year-old, who is also known as the local horse whisperer, is yet to retire from training horses, and cheerfully said there was nothing to working when you love what you do.
“I break in and train horses, it’s a good job and I’d hate to get a proper job,” he smiled.
“I break in about 90 (horses) a year, so that keeps me busy.
“I started riding when I was little – about three or four, and now I see it as a good equaliser and it’s good for character building.”
Childers Show President Chloe Johnson said John was a valued committee member who was also instrumental in ensuring this year’s show would go on, and she said he was always good for a laugh.
“It’s brilliant to community members who also enter in the show,” Chloe said.
“It really helps make the show, whether it’s in horse riding or in the fruit and veggie section!”
Community members shine in competition
Taking out the overall fruit champion Gin Gin’s Evelyn Johnson was quite proud to have pipped others, especially with her homegrown ruby red grapefruit.
As a retired farmer who grew a variety of small crops, Evelyn said she now enjoyed showing off her produce, and she won multiple awards across many categories.
“I have been growing citrus for about 20 years now, that includes mandarins, lemons and grapefruit,” she said.
“I do get a kick out of competing at the shows.Tthe judges go on size, colour and weight with fruit.
“This is the first time I have done the Childers Show and I think it is so good as people in the community can display what they can do – there are so many talented people around.”