MARGARET River student Regan Weightman gave up her only chance to go to the year 12 ball this year.
Instead, she pursued her interest in horse riding and went to compete in the WA State Equestrian Interschool Championships in Perth.
The decision paid off when she returned with a list of awards and qualified for the national contest.
Competing in dressage, Weightman placed second in the secondary novice final and fourth in the elementary secondary final.
"I gave up my year 12 ball to go," she said.
"A lot of people criticised me for it, but at the end of the day I won $400 and they all spent money on dresses I don't like wearing."
She rode her own horse, Krystal Park Signature, and was impressed with the animal's performance despite having only worked with her for less than a year.
"She's got a brilliant temperament; she's easy to train and easy to be in a team with," Miss Weightman said.
With another horse, she attended the WA State Stock Horse Championships and did well in the hack, youth dressage, youth campdraft and stock horse ridden divisions.
She qualified for the national stock horse championships in New South Wales next year.
Weightman said she would not attend the interschool championships as the event clashed with school exams.
"Schooling is a bit more important to me," she said.
"I'd like to get as far as I can in the divisions I do, but I kinda want to keep horse riding as my hobby. I want to keep it as fun."
She thanked her parents, coach Roz Brennan and everyone else who had helped her so far.
"It's great to see people are starting to recognise what my horses and I can accomplish," she said.