NEWS > Show Horse
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 15/05/2017.

Behind the Stable Door - Rebecca Farrow big success in the ring

“Behind the Stable Door” is a new series focussed on the back story of riders and their horses that have enjoyed success in major events. 

Rebecca Farrow has been heavily involved in showing since she was a young girl and at the recent Sydney Royal Easter Show enjoyed her biggest success in the ring.

She won the Champion Lady Rider and Champion Hack with Stage Presence and in doing so became the first owner/rider in 41 years to win both titles there.

“I was contacted by the RAS of NSW and advised of this.  The last person to win the double was Helen Crowley on Moliere in 1976.  It is an amazing feeling to be the first rider in 41 years and it definitely makes the win even more special,” Rebecca said.

It was the first time Rebecca has ever won a Royal Show Champion Hack title and making it even more memorable was the fact that she was judged by dressage legend Kristy Oatley who had only a few weeks prior competed at the FEI World Championships in Omaha, USA.

 “It was an absolute thrill to have someone with Kristy Oatley's knowledge take time out to judge at Sydney.  People with her background have such an incredibly trained eye for a horse, so it was an honour to hear her say to me "I think he's really beautiful".

She admitted that competing under such an esteemed rider inspired her and others to perform that little bit better.

“I think it probably sharpened up a lot of riders. I certainly felt that someone with her background would be looking for a sound, correct horse with great transitions and a horse that travels well, so I spent the lead up to Sydney focusing on transitional work.”

Ironically Rebecca’s horse Stage Presence (Percy) first sprung to her attention at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2014.

“I was watching the Novice Hacks and saw this leggy, rangy thoroughbred who could really move and thought I really like that horse,  I think I could do something with him".

“As it turned out the next day, the horse I was showing at the time was run in to in the marshalling yard and trotted out in the Pope Cup sore.  My rider class was later that afternoon, so we asked Courtney Smith (Percy's owner at the time) if she would consider lending him to me for my rider class.  Courtney came straight out of her class and I jumped on him in the marshalling yard for a quick warm up.  I had said that if I didn't click with him then I wouldn't start.  I liked what I felt underneath me and after a 5-minute warm-up I went out and won the riding.  Two months later I bought him.”

‘Percy’ is a son of Thoroughbred stallion Testa Rossa and had a less than average racing career but has since found his right place in the show ring where he is destined for plenty more success. He will remain in light work during the early part of winter before ramping up his training routine for his next major competition - the Royal Melbourne Show.

“I will continue to train and educate him over winter as he is an athlete who loves to learn.  We will be back out in September doing what we love,” she said.

photo credit Julie Wilson

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