Name: Mikayla Barber
Pursuit: Liberty Horse and Trick Riding
My dream is to be the best Australian Trick-Rider and Liberty Horse Performer of all time. At 15, I became the youngest performer ever employed by Australian Outback Spectacular and now at 17 I am the youngest ever to be offered a position with Cavalia and Australias’ only performer in this international cast that features the best in the world of equestrians, roman riders, dancers, acrobats and aerialists. The grant will help me with expenses associated with training at Cavalia’s specialty training school in France – The Equestrian Arts University! I have been offered the opportunity to train at this incredible facility so that I can be cross trained in all acts in the show, including the dressage routines which is a discipline I have not had much experience with previously. Without the support of Aim for the Stars, affording such an expensive opportunity would have been near impossible.
When did you start?
I began dancing at 3, Riding at 6 and trick-riding at 10. I started performing with Girls, Girls, Girls the all girl national trick riding team at 12.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
Performing at the world renowned Calgary Stampede. Being the first an only person in Australian history to ever perform an extremely difficult trick known as the backbend. Being the youngest performer ever employed by The Australian Outback Spectacular and now the youngest performer ever employed with Cavalia.
What is your dream?
To be the best Australian Trick-Rider and Liberty Horse Performer of all time.
Who or what have inspired you?
Who's your hero?
So many! Multiple world champion trick-rider and stuntman Tad Griffiths and his amazing sons who I was so lucky to spend 3 months training with during 2013. Jerri Duce from Canada who had an incredible 50 year professional trick-riding career and Niki Flundra another gorgeous Canadian liberty horse performer and my amazing Australian coach Heath Harris who started me on this amazing journey and taught me to - “Just Do It!!! Do it Now!!!
Any other special talents?
I’ve danced my whole life at Conroy Dance Centre in Brisbane, Sing, Model, Act and do Aerials - Silks and Rings! Basically I love to perform. I also finished grade 12 at 15, 2 years ahead of my peers but had no desire to go to university as I always knew I wanted to be a professional performer.
Lots - Taylor Swift, One Direction and Musicals. I’m mad about all Disney music - Love the soundtrack from Frozen.
Currently - Labor Day. My surrogate American little brother Gattlin Griffith plays the child lead and he is amazing! Not only is this kid a phenomenal trick rider, he is an amazing actor as well! Such an inspiration!
Favourite TV Show?
ALL! Spaghetti Bolognese and Chocolate.
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
The grant will help me with expenses associated with training at Cavalia’s specialty training school in France - The Equestrian Arts University! I have been offered the opportunity to train at this incredible facility so that I can be cross trained in all acts in the show, including the dressage routines which is a discipline I have not had much experience with previously.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
“Just Do It! Do it Now” “ If you want it - You’ve got to want it bad enough!”