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Local juniors do well in 2008

ACTERA member Talea Hasko-Stewart completed a big year of endurance by placing First National Junior Endurance Rider in Distance and being narrowly pipped for second in points!

Courtesy of Main Event Photography. Talea Hasko-Stewart and BH Summer Reign at Shahzada 2008
First national distance rider, Talea Hasko-Stewart, and Blake's Heaven Summer Reign (Photo courtesy of Main Event Photography)

Talea was also first in points and distance in NSW and the two horses she competed on, Blake's Heaven Ventura and Blake's Heaven Summer Reign, were first and second in both points and distance in NSW. They were also high up in the national pointscore and distance pointscore.

Talea rode 1504 km in successful endurance competition in 2008 – more than any other person in NSW. Four hundred of her kilometres came from the Shahzada Memorial Test ride held in St Albans. Talea completed on BH Summer Reign for first junior and fifth overall, with excellent parameters throughout the ride despite a brush with greasy heel at the end. It was Talea's fourth attempt at Shahzada, and her first success, so a very happy outcome.

Talea Hasko-Stewart and BH Summer Reign at Shahzada 2008 with the Steve Locke trophy
Talea Hasko-Stewart and Blake's Heaven Summer Reign at Shahzada 2008. Talea is holding the Steve Locke trophy.

Talea was also awarded the Steve Locke Memorial Trophy for the last placed junior as no other junior rider completed. Talea knew Steve quite well – Steve's daughter, Zoe, was a leading junior when Talea started endurance, aged eight, and Talea was often mistaken for blond-haired Zoe. Steve Locke died several years ago.

Given the very tough conditions at Shahzada, the decision was made to put shoes on Reign after his glued-on boots came off during the first 52 km leg. The shoes were pulled off after Shahzada and all the other kilometres by Reign and Ventura were completed barefoot, or booted at the front only.

Another ACTERA junior member, Jeremy Banwell, was also in the NSW top 10, achieving seventh place in points and sixth place in distance with 324 km.

Adeline Gibson's horse, Blake's Heaven Dubonnet, was ninth in Lightweight Distance Horse.