By Luke Kirkeby.

Taupo eventer Bryar Kirkeby had a blast with her former racehorse during the Beyond the Barriers New Zealand Dunstan Ex-Factor 2016 challenge at Equidays last month.

The personal trainer and her Taupo bred mare Here and Now Sporthorses (HNS) Supreme (Jane), who formally went by the race name Tainesupreme, came away with multiple placings during the annual event at Hamilton’s Mystery Creek.

The aim of the challenge, which featured 45 retired racehorses from around the country, was to promote the versatility and suitability of racehorses as pleasure and sporthorses after their racing days were over.

The pair “smoked” the field of 22 by 12 seconds in the competition’s Palamountains Derby challenge which required rider and horse combinations to jump 13 obstacles over cross country terrain.

The fastest to complete was declared winner with Kirkeby described as “ultra quick” by the commentator, completing it within a time of 125.49.

In second and third place respectively were fellow eventers Amanda Pottinger, 130.22, and Donna Edwards-Smith, 130.93.

Kirkeby said she couldn’t be happier with Jane’s performance.

“She was going really well and was doing everything I asked of her. I’ve definitely got a soft spot for her,” she said.

“I have a really good bond with her and trust her a lot and she trusts me. It is not always easy to find with a horse so she is quite special.”

She also managed to place sixth in the challenge’s Beyond the Bit Dressage which featured 19 horses. She finished the overall competition in sixth place.

“She went really well the whole weekend. It was a massive atmosphere and she went a lot better than I expected,” she said.

Kirkeby said she would like to thank all the sponsors who helped make the competition possible and said she would definitely recommend the challenge to others.

“You have to know how to retrain horses which takes a lot of patience and you are not going to have great days everyday with them but you push through things and you do get great days and it is really worth it,“ she said.

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