STAR: Tamika Anderson finished fourth in Youth division two at the NBHA Carolina State Show on the weekend.
STAR: Tamika Anderson finished fourth in Youth division two at the NBHA Carolina State Show on the weekend. Contributed

Move to America pays off for talented barrel racer

GYMPIE'S Tamika Anderson made the decision of her lifetime to move to the USA this year, and it looks to have paid off.

The talented barrel racer was no stranger to the US, having competed in several world championships there, but after graduating from St. Patrick's College in 2013 decided to set up permanent base in Darlington, South Carolina for this year.

The move has allowed her to compete in several high-level competitions, the likes of which are rare in Australia, with a view towards a possible career in the sport.

"I've been doing pretty well at a lot of local competitions, even won a few," she said.

"I recently went to the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) Youth World Championships, and had some good runs, but didn't manage to make the finals."

Anderson was back in the saddle on the weekend, competing in the NBHA South Carolina State Show.

She performed well enough to make the finals of the youth competition (featuring 111 competitors) and finished fourth in division two, while also qualifying for the finals of the 205-strong open class.

Her next big event will be the NBHA Open World Championships in Georgia in October.

The OP1 student is considering whether to stay on for a second year in America.

"I will if the border security people over here approve my application - I'm still waiting on an answer from them," she said.

"I could still end up starting university next year though, I'll just have to wait and see."