Royal showing for horse and rider
THEY are a dynamic duo.
Grafton Pony Club member Leah Kilner and her horse Lucky Call have been at it again, setting the standard at the recent Grafton Gymkhana.
A former race horse, Lucky Call was given to Leah as a Christmas present two years ago and since then the pair has been inseparable.
Showing no signs of nerves, Leah was crowned Champion Rider at the Grafton Pony Club Gymkhana.
And the young rider is not done with yet.
After accumulating points at the Glen Innes and Inverell shows, Leah has her sights set on competing at the Brisbane Royal Show in late August.
“Some judges and fellow competitors have told me Lucky Call is of Grand National material,” Leah says.
“It’s very exciting.
"Who would think a racehorse would adjust to the show ring so fast?”
Before making his mark in the show ring Lucky Call competed in 33 races, with one win, a second and eight thirds.
For 12-year-old Leah there isn’t a day that goes by when she and her striking six-year-old horse are not fine-tuning for upcoming events.
“I have lessons with my riding teacher Leeanne Rose almost every morning,” Leah says.
“Her help and knowledge with Lucky has been awesome.
"She certainly knows what she’s doing.
“She teaches Lucky certain movements, manners and how to respond to certain situations.”
Leah admits Lucky Call has gained weight since his days on the race track but wouldn’t swap him for anything.
“He’s put on about 75kg since coming off the track, so he hasn’t got that racehorse physique,” Leah said.
“He suits being a show pony.
"He has movements to die for and the manners of a saint.
“He’s an absolute gentleman and is always relaxed.”
Leah added her favourite horse also has a healthy appetite, even though his favourite food is a bit odd.
“He’s happy as long as he has his feed with him. He eats anything and everything and loves popcorn chicken from KFC,” Leah said.
Leah, who is the daughter of colourful racing identity and trainer Greg Kilner, had some advice to give her dad.
“I wish dad had a stable full of racehorses with the looks and temperament of Lucky,” she said.