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  • Provincial Racing NSW


TALK determination and dedication and you’re talking SKYE REGAN.

The young Central Coast woman was determined to compete in the inaugural Equimillion conducted jointly by RacingNSW and Equestrian Australia over the recent long weekend, and was one of two riders sponsored by Gosford Race Club.

Not even a broken hand in the lead-up coupled with the fact that her mount Deangelo had been enjoying retirement for several years could stand in the way.

The 18-year-old daughter of long-standing Gosford trainer Kylie Gavenlock and her partner, former Balmain Tigers rugby league player Terry Regan, dedicated herself to making it to Sydney for the three-day event – and she did.

“Naturally Skye has always been around horses,” Gavenlock said.

“She has been riding trackwork early mornings for me now for about 18 months, and does a good job.

“Then she continues on to also work at Finniefeirme (Gaelic for Finnie’s Farm) at Kulnura.”

Finnefeirme is a boutique thoroughbred stud, offering 5-star breeding, spelling and yearling preparation facilities.

Eligible contestants in the Equimillion, exclusively for retired thoroughbred racehorses, were required to be a current financial competitor or had participant membership of EA (Equestrian Australia) to compete across several disclipines such as dressage, jumping, eventing and show horse.

“We were particularly appreciative of Greg and Donna Kolivos (of Pierro fame) allowing Skye to compete with Deangelo,” Kylie Gavenlock said.

“They are not only fantastic owners when their horses are racing, but also continue to pay to have them looked after in retirement.

“Deangelo started off in Sydney, and I trained him for Greg and Donna for all but five of his 25 starts.

“We won a couple of races with him, on the Beaumont track at Newcastle in 2016 and at Cessnock the following year.

“He had his last run at Gosford in August 2018.

“When Skye found out that she was being sponsored by the Gosford club, she started getting Deangelo ready a month out, but then suffered a broken hand.

“Skye really had only three weeks to work with him, and he had never been to a gymkhana or the like.

“As a result, Deangelo had not done a full jumping course. We put him over a few small jumps at home, and he only knocked one rail off with a hind leg in the event.

“Deangelo went terrific in the cross country section and overall Skye was so pleased with the experience gained by both herself and the horse.

“She will definitely be back with him next year.

“We were absolutely proud of Skye for having a go, and giving it her best shot.”

Whilst horses are clearly her passion, Skye Regan is a very smart young lady who received excellent scholastic results in her final Year 12.

“She did so well that she was offered a full law scholarship in Newcastle, but didn’t take it as she is a real homebody,” her mother said.

“Because of her love for the horse, Skye is very keen on veterinary science, but that means going to Wagga.

“She has been doing some work with local vets, and who knows? Perhaps she will go next year.”

On the racing front, Kylie Gavenlock is at a loose end with her talented mare Audette, who made the $500,000 Provincial-Midway Championship Final at Royal Randwick in April, and has now had two runs in the new season.

“I was rapt with her first-up sixth to Red Card in the Benchmark 88 Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill early last month, but then she jarred up badly on a very firm track there last Saturday,” she explained.

“There’s no decent rain forecast until April, but if I turn her out, it will rain for sure.”

In the meantime, Gavenlock will have two runners at Scone on Monday; Beetson (Benchmark 58 Handicap, 1600m) and The Denzel (Class 3 Handicap, 1400m).

Beetson, whose dam is Lady Balmain, was appropriately named after the former star Balmain forward and Rugby League Hall Of Famer Arthur Beetson, who died in 2011 and was the first indigenous Australian to captain a national team in any sport.

The equine Beetson broke through in a 1200m Tuncurry Maiden on September 8, whilst former Sydney six-year-old The Denzel, which her new trainer describes as “a lovely old horse’, was a first-up winner for the stable at Muswellbrook on October 2.

*Story John Curtis, October 15 - Pics supplied*

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