Rad Riders come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, it’s the tiniest individuals that have the most sizable impact on their fellow riders.
Take Eason Hawthorn, for example. The kid from the small town of Ile des Chenes, Manitoba, is only five years old and he’s already won numerous podium placings. In 2019 and 2020, Eason took part in every local Manitoba event within reach: Beausejour, Selkirk, St. Jean, Pilot Mound and Hilltop. He’s already become a crowd favourite thanks to his outgoing enthusiasm and sociable behaviour.
The Hawthorn family are part of TNN (Team Not Normal) Racing: Cory, Shaylene, Eason and Luxon. — Photo courtesy Shaylene Hawthorn
“His sportsmanship sets him apart,” said Shaylene Hawthorn, Eason’s mom. “From fist bumps at the start line to high fives at the end, you can always hear him cheering everyone on. Eason is known for his seat wiggle while in the race pit, his loud personality on the sidelines, and his unreal sportsmanship. This past season, a fellow mini mudder tipped their machine and he instantly stopped mid-race to run over to make sure she was okay.”
The little dude’s dirt-filled destiny
Even before he was born, Eason’s destiny was set on ATVing. His parents, Cory and Shaylene Hawthorn, made their announcement of his upcoming arrival by posting a photo on social media. The picture displayed their Maverick “Molly” and their 650 XMR “The Reaper” behind a small battery-powered quad with a custom paint job to match the Can-Am black and yellow. The caption for the photo said that the couple “had a mini mudder on the way.” Less than a year after Eason was born, he was riding that little battery-powered quad like a champ. To further solidify his role as Rad Rider at infancy, one of Eason’s first words was, “Braaap.”
Cory and Shaylene Hawthorn made their announcement of Eason’s upcoming arrival by posting this photo on social media with the caption that said the couple “had a mini mudder on the way.” — Photo courtesy Shaylene Hawthorn
Eason loves to ride anywhere with mud—derbys, races, acreage around the Hawthorn’s home—if there’s mud, he’s into it. And his magnetism to mud is only rivalled by his penchant for machinery. Eason has already soaked up a great deal of machine knowledge thanks to teachings from his dad, Cory.
“Eason has to be involved in everything mechanical,” Shaylene said. “He always wants to know every aspect of what someone is doing down to the nuts and bolts and likes help hands-on as often as possible.”
“Eason’s sportsmanship sets him apart. From fist bumps at the start line to high fives at the end, you can always hear him cheering everyone on.” — Shaylene Hawthorn — Photo courtesy Shaylene Hawthorn
As if this little dude’s rider resume wasn’t impressive enough at age five, Eason’s biggest challenge that he’s had to overcome is his health. Eason was born with fibular hemimelia, a rare condition that affects his left lower leg. Initially at birth, the Hawthorns were told Eason may never walk. But Eason has proven he can push boundaries and trailblaze his own path.
Eason has already soaked up a great deal of machine knowledge thanks to teachings from his dad, Cory. — Photo courtesy Shaylene Hawthorn
Eason is easily a candidate for coolest Rad Rider kid we’ve ever covered, and it looks like another within the Hawthorn family could be next. Now that Eason’s little sister, Luxon, is old enough to ride (one-year-old), Eason loves to ride alongside her and show her how it’s done. In fact, Eason has informed his folks that he is the only one who gets to teach his sister how to race.
Some parents might hesitate to put their kids on an ATV race track, but according to Eason’s mom, Shaylene, you might as well dive and enjoy the muddy ride.
“It’s messy, but so worth it,” she said. “We just let him be a kid and ride. Eason grew up on the sidelines watching his dad and his passion has grown from there. We encourage him to have fun, make friends and enjoy himself. You can always find us as parents on the sidelines of his races, helping out, taking videos and photos, and cheering him on.”
“Eason grew up on the sidelines watching his dad and his passion has grown from there.” — Shaylene Hawthorn — Photo courtesy Shaylene Hawthorn
ON OUR RAD RADAR:
Rider: Eason Hawthorn
Where: Ile des Chenes, Manitoba
Bragging rights: Overcoming fibular hemimelia, a rare condition that affects his left lower leg and potentially could have kept him from ever walking
Weapon of choice: Kawasaki KFX 50
Local ride recommendation: Mud derbys in Beausejour, Selkirk, St. Jean, Pilot Mound and Hilltop, Manitoba