Market day for NZ rider
She is the first person to hold every single New Zealand para- equestrian title and Rachel Stock from Tuakau is holding our Paralympic hopes.
Picked by Equestrian Sport New Zealand as being at the forefront of the dressage medal prospects at next year’s Paralympics in London, Stock is all but there.
But it’s the acknowledgment she has received from an unlikely source that has given her the biggest boost ahead of London.
West Australia’s young sportsperson of the year Hayley Beresford has picked Stock to coach in Europe for three months prior to the games in August. ‘‘She has picked me because last month the international equestrian federation compiled a list of all the top riders on track for a chance next year and I made the top 15.’’
Beresford, a dressage rider for Australia, will be lending Stock stable space before the games and helping to get her in the best possible condition to compete.
‘‘For me to get this offer and this position of being coached by her is a big deal especially as she is an Australian helping a Kiwi.’’
Stock has a degenerative disease which makes her bones delicate and riding horses a dangerous game. Falling from her horse is a risk she bears every time she steps up to train or compete.
She puts her trust in her two horses, New Zealandbased Donnergrollen and Australia- based Rimmini Park Emmerich. Keeping a horse in each country provides her the ability to reach beyond the competitions in New Zealand. But this all costs money. In two weeks she travels to Australia to compete for a place in the Paralympics.
In the build- up to the games next year she must first qualify for a place in the New Zealand team. Then she competes in another qualifier in Hong Kong which will also cost $2000 and that is just her entry fee. Although she still needs to raise $16,000 she has high hopes that nothing is going to stop her.