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.
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.