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Major Aust backing for NZ paralympic bid

August 26, 2011

Top New Zealand para-equestrian Rachel Stock has a new horse and Australian backing for her quest to represent the country at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Ben Terry and Hillbreeze Emmerich, the horse on whom Rachel Stock will aim for London 2012.
Stock is teaming up the Australian-based National Young Rider title holder Hillbreeze Emmerich, and also has the opportunity to train with Australian dressage Olympian Hayley Beresford.

The horse will remain in Australia and Stock will commute across the Tasman every month to attend competitions and train with Hillbreeze Emmerich. At home, she will continue to train her two other horses.

Hillbreeze Emmerich - known as "Ricki" at home, is owned by Dugald Bruce from the small Victorian town of Devenish, and ridden by Australia's Ben Terry.

Prompting the chance to ride Hillbreeze Emmerich was the fact that in order to be selected for Olympic representation, Stock is required to compete at a CPDI 3* PE Dressage Event and achieve a 60% in her level. These events are to be held in Hong Kong and Victoria in November and December this year. Stock intends to attend both of these competitions to work towards meeting the Equestrian Sports NZ Paralympics Nomination Criteria required by the middle of March 2012. Stock said that with rising costs and time running out the likelihood of her own main horse, the National Champion Donnergrollen, making that trip to Australia to qualify was growing less likely.

The situation was brought to the attention of the Terry family from the small country town of Dhurringile in Northern Victoria, and a plan to partner Stock with Emmerich was made.

Rachel Stock and Donnergrollen.
Emmerich is normally ridden by 20-year-old Ben Terry, a State and National Champion Young Rider, Victorian open teams representative and a former Young Dressage Ambassador of the Year. He has trained in Belgium in the past years and is now training in Germany with Hayley Beresford. He will be based with Beresford full time from next May, and, subject to qualifications, will make the trip to the northern hemisphere with the Emmerich.

Stock said she would compete as much as possible in New Zealand with Donnergrollen, with the aim of "capturing every applicable National Title for the second year in a row."

"This new partnership is by no means undermining my belief in Donnergrollen," Stock said. "It is simply a decision based on horse power and bringing home a medal for New Zealand. The opportunity to work with a professional team of trainers and owners is where the international standard is."

Stock is also supported by Bates Saddles on her journey to the London paralympics. Stock said she rides all her horses in the Bates Innova model. "As a Para Dressage rider, the saddle I ride in has to be perfect for rider and horse, there can be no compromise on either part," she said.



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