WHEN it comes to tales of heartbreak and recovery, the story of Yallah equestrian star Mikayla Weir must certainly top the polls this year.
The 20-year-old has scooped the pools at many events and titles during the past few years, including the Australian High Schools titles. She was named Australian Bushman's Campdraft and Rodeo Association Allround Cowgirl in Australia, as well as Rookie Barrel Racer.
However, tragedy struck last year when her beloved horse 'Rocket' injured his hoof and had to be put down.
"I was devastated - he was such a beautiful horse and we formed a really close bond," Weir said.
"He was like one of the family and it has been really hard for everyone.
"Luckily I had another horse 'Chase' in training and while he wasn't really ready to step up, we really didn't have any choice.
"It's been a long, hard 12 months going from the top to the bottom, winning all the time to losing, but I had to be there for my horse and he has responded incredibly and I am proud of the way we are going at the moment.
"We have gone from not placing to getting places and now he wins all the time.
"He's being a good boy - and he is only six years old too, so he is only a baby."
Chase and her 'second' horse Zac have helped Weir to some great results recently, winning both rounds at the recent Branxton Classic.
Weir is keeping herself busy, working at Kembla Grange with racehorse trainer Kerry Parker from 4am to 8.30am each day, before coming home to work with her seven horses.
"I like to stay busy, and this certainly allows me to do that," she said.