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.

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