Naracoorte resident Darren North has been recognised for his voluntary work with show jumping which spans almost three decades.
On April 23 at the SA Showjumping Championships in Adelaide, the local man was presented with the John Sheekey Volunteer of the Year Award for his long-standing dedication to the equestrian sport.
South Eastern Riding Club member Greg Willoughby nominated Darren for the award for his long and selfless efforts assisting at local shows, pony club events and other competitions where show jumping is conducted.
“Over a period of nearly 30 years Darren has been a regular helper, often paying his own way. Darren was a popular recipient as was seen by the many congratulations he received after the presentation from riders from SA and interstate,” he said.
“Darren has been a great help to show jumping in the SE over the years and it is terrific for him to be recognised in his own community.
“A big congratulations to Darren from riders, officials and organising committees for his service over the years both past and future.”
Darren said he was not expecting to receive an award at the SA Showjumping Championships.
“I had no idea what they had organised, I felt pretty proud to receive the award but a bit embarrassed as well,” he laughed.
Darren started volunteering at horse shows around the SE when he was 14 and said it’s something he is very passionate about.
”I just enjoy being around horses and helping people out – I’ve also met lots of good friends through volunteering at horse shows,” he said.
As well as volunteering at horse shows in Naracoorte, Millicent, Penola, Mundulla, Kingston and Mount Gambier, Darren also helps out at local Stockman’s Challenges with the campdrafting competitions.
“Volunteering is really good fun and it’s something I really enjoy,” he said.
The John Sheekey Award is presented by the Show Jumping Committee of Equestrian SA annually to a person who has made a contribution to show jumping over a long time as a volunteer.