Williams seals national trail riding title
For Vera Williams, a Quick Decision has paid off.
The Pauatahanui competitive trail rider won her first nationals at the second attempt over Easter on her 18-year-old horse, Quick Decision.
In competitive trail riding winners have to complete a circuit in as close to the allotted time as possible and horses must register the lowest heart rate possible.
The horse’s heart rate is taken after they cross the line and again 30 minutes later.
Distances for the trail ride range between 15km and 75km, depending on the class.
Williams thought she and her mount had done enough to win the nationals, held at a station near Springfield, Canterbury, over Easter.
‘‘He’d done so well and I knew the time was close and his heart rate was spot on,’’ she said.
‘‘Some riders had gone out fast and tried to slow down at the end, but I kept it steady, and it worked out.
‘‘It was such a brilliant feeling because Quick Decision is like my best friend and we had worked hard together.’’
Williams said the station was an incredible venue, with some rolling terrain but nothing she and her mount couldn’t handle.
The one hiccup was that Quick Decision took a toilet break just short of the finish line, which caused Williams some time concerns.
‘‘About two hours after we finished, someone bashed on my door and said, ‘You’ve won’.
‘‘It was exciting but humbling. He [Quick Decision] got more reward than me – a massage, feed, carrots, the works.’’
Williams took up competitive trail riding seven years ago, initially with a Wellington-based club, but these days rides with a Wairarapa club.
She won the North Island title last year, with a broken ankle and in a perfect time, but missed out at nationals.
She hopes to keep competing with Quick Decision in a sport she has grown to love.
‘‘You need discipline, strategy and a horse you’re in tune with. ’’
Williams said sponsors Williams Drycleaners and Laundry Services, and Rural Trading Post, were crucial in getting her to nationals.
Vera Williams and her trail riding mount, Quick Decision.