PURE JOY: Summer Sanford, 4, loves competing and has achieved great results this year.
PURE JOY: Summer Sanford, 4, loves competing and has achieved great results this year. Contributed

Big year at the age of four

AT FOUR years old Summer Sanford's achievements in barrel racing have earned her a nomination for this year's junior sportsperson of the year competition, a big achievement for a young girl and one that is very well deserved.

Her list of accomplishments this year included earning reserve champion peewee led barrel racing and reserve champion peewee led pole bending.

Summer was up against children up to six years her senior in the peewee competition and achieved well beyond her years.

Competing in the National Barrel Horse Association division nine events, Summer finished as runner-up to her brother, Hayden.

You can guarantee that every time Summer was in the ring competing this year she had a smile on her face.

Summer and Hayden love racing and so do their parents, Michael and Karli.

"The kids go out and smile the whole way through and are stoked to do what they love,” Michael said.

"She has improved with her confidence around horses as well and we doing it more at home,” Karli added.

The family will travel to the US next year for the world championships, with Michael and Karli to pull on the green and gold.

While her parents will be racing, Summer is looking forward to the chance to be around the sport she loves.

Next year Summer will be working towards having the confidence to race in competitions without being led.

At home, Summer and her horse, Delta, tackle a variety of challenges that will improve her performance in the ring and keep her enjoyment in the sport.

In additional to practising the barrels, she goes on trial rides and rides around cattle at her family's Maidenwell property.