Mar­ket day for NZ rider

Franklin County News - - News - By MITCH HYDE

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.

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