Dad lives on through Chase

Tayla Pat­ter­son- Doyle, 17, in­her­ited 14- year- old palomino quar­ter horse Chase af­ter her fa­ther Phillip died seven years ago. They’ve been in­sep­a­ra­ble ever since.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den

What’s your ear­li­est mem­ory of Chase?

Dad did ev­ery­thing with him. Dad and a few of his friends made a car­riage, like one of the ones you’d see in a Wild West fi lm, and he would sad­dle it onto Chase and drive him­self down to the pub some evenings and tie him up out­side.

I can re­mem­ber Dad lead­ing me around on Chase, but he’s pretty head­strong and it wasn’t un­til he was mine that I started rid­ing him by my­self.

You started bar­rel rac­ing with Chase at rodeos?

When I got him he had only been trail- rid­den so I taught him the ba­sics of bar­rel rac­ing [ rac­ing in a clover- shaped pat­tern around three bar­rels] and we did a cou­ple of lo­cal events be­fore I be­came an Aus­tralian Pro­fes­sional Rodeo As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber .

I rode him ev­ery day, usu­ally up be­hind our home, to im­prove his fi tness. He came a long way and for a while we com­peted to­gether in the eight or so rodeos each sea­son in Tas­ma­nia.

We shared a cou­ple of wins in lo­cal races and came third in the open ju­nior di­vi­sion last sea­son.

It was a huge achieve­ment to get him there to be­gin with be­cause he’s had a lot of health set­backs. Now, he’s pretty much re­tired from the rodeos.

What were his big­gest set­backs?

He de­vel­oped a lot of scar tis­sue in his back, which made him prac­ti­cally un­able to be rid­den about four years ago. Just af­ter that, he was di­ag­nosed with a tu­mour, which was re­moved. The vet said there was a chance it would re­turn but, thank­fully, it hasn’t.

Fi­nally, just re­cently, he de­vel­oped Nav­ic­u­lar [ syn­drome] in his foot and that’s why he had to be re­tired from the rodeos. Help­ing him with his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion has been a two- way street in the seven years since Dad has been gone.

What’s spe­cial about your re­la­tion­ship with Chase?

Ev­ery­thing Dad taught Chase, Chase has passed on to me in terms of learn­ing about horses and rid­ing. He’s the clos­est thing I have to Dad.

What’s the best thing about hav­ing Chase?

Just how proud he would have made Dad, with what he’s ac­com­plished, with all the set­backs that he’s had to over­come. He’s defi nitely my best friend.

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