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Bianca Hertel - Aiming for the Stars

Photographer Emma Wells

At just 15, Bianca Hertel, is striving for greatness on the Rodeo circuit, ‘Aiming for the Stars’. Through Bianca’s achievements and ambition she has been selected by ‘The Layne Beachley, Aim for the Stars Foundation for the ‘Macquarie Bank Kick-start Scholarship’ receiving a monetary grant over 3 yrs.

This is the first year The Layne Beachley Foundation has issued a Macquarie Bank Kick-start Scholarship, and it couldn’t have gone to a more worthy young lady.

The Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation was launched in March 2003, to provide financial and moral assistance to girls and women across Australia to help realise their dreams.

Quote from Layne Beachley: The Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation was created to inspire girls and women across Australia to dream and achieve. Having experienced the financial pressures of supporting my professional surfing career, I set out to establish a foundation offering assistance for those who need some extra help to achieve their ambitions. It is a hard task to be the best at your chosen aspiration when you are busy trying to substitute your income or do your school work. There were plenty of moments when I wanted to quit but I cannot begin to imagine where I would be now if I let money dictate my love for surfing!

The Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation was built to prevent girls and women alike from having to go through this same amount of adversity. My desire is to encourage, motivate and provide for all aspiring women. Encompassing academic, sport, cultural and community pursuits, Aim for the Stars offers ambitious and dedicated females an opportunity to receive financial and moral support to help them achieve their goals. My support will give them the opportunity to maintain a determined focus on their goal, to achieve their dreams earlier in life and allow them to further their ambitions and aim for the stars.

The foundation is an investment into the future of Australian women.

Bianca, or (Banc, Turtle, Bee) as her friends call her, has continued to push her limits, a young lady on a mission to excel, in her chosen field of Barrel Racing, in Rodeo’s.  This is a hard and dangerous sport for a young girl but it has not stopped Bianca. The excitement of that 16 second ride has captivated Bianca and driven her to be the youngest girl ever, to be reaching the heights she has been achieving.

When we last caught up with Bianca, she had just won the Rookie Barrel Racing Championships 2007 at the age of 13, and was leading her age group in the National standings of the Australian Bushman's Camp Draft and Rodeo Association (ABCRA) Championships. Not much has changed except quite a few more wins and places, she is a little taller, and her exciting trip to Gallup, New Mexico, USA, in June 2008 with the Australian High School Rodeo Team.

Photographer Emma Wells
Photographer Emma Wells

Bianca has an extensive list of achievements some of which are:

Dual ABCRA & NHRA Rodeo Branxton 2008
Champion under 16 - Barrel Racer, Champion under 16 - American Pole Bending, Champion under 16 – Breakaway Roping, All round Junior Cowgirl.

ABHA Southern Turn ‘n’ Burn 2008
Reserve Champion Open Barrel Racer.

ABCRA Junior National Finals 2009
1st place in 3 out of 3 rounds, Fastest Time in under 14 – Barrel Races, Under 14 – Barrel Racing Aggregate Champion.

ABCRA National Finals Rodeo 2009
1st place in first round of, Open Ladies Barrel Races.

Bianca is most proud of winning the title of ‘ABHA (Australian Barrel Horse Association) Dual Crowned Champion’ and receiving a great Barrel Racing Saddle for the title. Also winning the ABCRA (Australian Bushman’s Camp draft and Rodeo Association), In the 11 to under 14 age group, ‘ABCRA Barrel Racing National Champion Title’, in 2006, 2007 and again 2008.

Coonamble Australia Day Junior Sportsperson for 2009
In January 2009 Bianca was also awarded Junior Sportsperson of Coonamble, being recognized for her talents in her home town.

Bianca breaks and trains her own horses, Cash – a 3 year old filly, which she rides in Novice Events, Smudge -  another young horse Bianca is training with great success in the Novice and Junior Events, with her main horse being  Splash – which she has also trained to be one of the top horses in the Barrel Racing Circuit.

It is an intense training schedule Bianca puts herself and horses through commencing at 5.30am, with feeding, grooming and working her horses, until 7.30am, when she heads off to catch a bus for school.  A full day at school, and 2 hours of travelling still does not dampen her enthusiasm for the afternoon training session. After a quick snack she’s back out doing her farm chores and looking after her horses again. She makes it back to the house by dark for dinner and homework before hitting the sack about around 10.30pm.

Bianca attends Coonamble High School in Northern NSW studying in year 10. Its amazing Bianca can keep up with her studies, but she is a committed young lady and wants to finish her schooling, making the most of her education.  Bianca’s Principle and Teachers understand her dedication and assist her with catch up work, so Bianca can continue with her rodeo passion.  Bianca loves Agriculture Studies, Science and also PE, (Physical Education) and enjoys playing hockey at school.

It surprises me she can keep up the juggling act but Bianca assures me it’s what she loves and come the weekends when she is out travelling around Australia from Rodeo to Rodeo, it is all worth the hard work.

Bianca has loved the travelling over the last few years always something new to see. Her favourite Rodeo’s are Goulburn NSW, Mareeba QLD and of course her home town Coonamble NSW.  Bianca has amassed a great circle of friends from all over the country from NSW down to the Victorian boarder and back up to the top of North Queensland. From the High School Rodeo Championships last year in the USA Bianca has keep in contact with a group of friends from Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  So Bianca is hoping to qualify in the Australian High School Rodeo Team again this year, so she can catch up with some mates.

Bianca’s main event is Barrel Racing but has also started riding in the Junior Breakaway Roping event where she competed in the National Junior Finals. She likes competing in Bending and waiting until she is 18 to try her hand at Steer Undercoating.  At home Bianca helps doing the cattle work with her Dad on horse back, and when it gets dry and there’s been no rain to grow feed, they hit the roads droving their cattle.

Bianca’s family is never far away from her side, to keep her on track and motivated. With Bianca only just turned 15 in January, it is Lyn and Tom Hertel that support Bianca’s passion for Rodeo Riding.  

Bianca and her family extend their thanks and appreciation to her sponsors who make travelling and competing around Australia possible.

Omega Feeds - Gunnedah

Frank Cross Tyres - Coonamble, Dubbo, Warren and Gilgandra.
Both of these Sponsors have supported Bianca for the last four years. ‘Without them, there is no way I would have been able to continue competing and experience what I have. And of course a big thank you to ‘Aim for the Stars Foundation’ for assisting me with my endeavours’- Bianca

2008 – Layne Beachley, Aim for the Stars Foundation – Kick-Start Grant
2009 – Layne Beachley, Aim for the Stars Foundation – The Macquarie Bank 3 year Scholarship

Congratulations on all your awards Bianca and good luck for 2009.

The Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation is delighted to announce the final selection of 2009 Grant recipients and over $50,000 will be awarded to some of Australia's most talented and inspirational women. The standard of applications was extraordinary this year, making it even more difficult to determine who was the most deserving. Due to the generosity of KPMG and Macquarie Bank we were able to extend our assistance to 17 girls with cash and or equipment who may have gone without any recognition or support.

Please visit to read more, or if you are interested in Donating to the fund or applying for sponsorship please go to the website for further information.

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