Rebecca Bartley was a content teenager when she secured a job with Shepparton trots trainer Steve O’Donoghue four years ago.GUS UNDERWOOD February 22, 2013 4:20am
Rebecca Bartley was a content teenager when she secured a job with Shepparton trots trainer Steve O’Donoghue four years ago.
A baptism in pony trotters had Bartley dreaming constantly of a career around horses and in the sulky.
But in her wildest dreams she didn’t anticipate how quickly it would all happen.
On Sunday the petite reinswoman, raised at Merrigum, flies to Sydney to experience her biggest week and thrill so far in the industry.
She has been selected to represent Victoria in the Australasian Young Drivers’ Championship.
This means pitting her driving and horse skills against some of the most promising young drivers Australia and New Zealand has to offer.
Bartley will be joined by another Victorian reinswoman, Ellen Tormey, who gets automatic entry into the five-meeting series as the reigning champion. Other states and the two New Zealand islands will have just the one representative.
Bartley admits she was pleasantly surprised when she learnt of her selection to represent Victoria in such a prestigious series.
‘‘It’s a big honour and it’s going to be a good life experience,’’ she said this week reflecting on her selection.
Bartley makes no secret she owes everything she has achieved to date to her boss and mentor O’Donoghue.
‘‘I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Steve,’’ she said.
‘‘He’s put trust in me and gave me a start, so I’m trying hard to repay his faith.’’
In four years under O’Donoghue’s tutelage, Bartley has driven more than 100 winners, a generous portion of them for O’Donoghue.
Her 100th winner aptly came up on the O’Donoghue-trained Bookkeeper at Albury in November.
But her reputation as a budding and competent reinswoman has grown and so has the interest of other trainers who have given her plenty of chances during the past two seasons.
She has proved particularly popular in the Sunraysia area and is a regular driver at Mildura meetings.
Bartley is preparing for a hectic week when she meets up with other championship aspirants at a base in Camden on Sydney’s outskirts on Sunday.
In between competing at five meetings throughout NSW next week, there is plenty of off-track entertainment to keep the title challengers busy away from the racetracks as well.
Drivers will compete in two heats at Goulburn on Monday, Menangle on Tuesday, Bathurst on Wednesday and Penrith on Thursday before going into one final heat on Inter Dominion final day at Menangle on Sunday week.
And, for Bartley, Monday just won’t come around quickly enough.
A-grade women's Ladder-leader Echuca-Moama has been unable to shake off a dogged Shepparton Youth Club challenge and has had to settle for a draw in their Goulburn Valley Hockey Association clash.
In a surprise announcement this morning the Burramine Sports Club has said there will be no Burramine Gift in 2015.
The Tatura and district Catholic community will celebrate the 51st staging of the Feast of St Donato on Saturday, August 2.
Emmett McEwan has the title of being first born in the new Echuca hospital after his quick arrival on Monday.
Rochester businesses will be without power for an extended period this Thursday.
Resident celebrates 90 birthday with surprise party.
Swans senior football side always in control despite narrow margin.
Despite being scheduled to play at home this Saturday, Finley footballers and netballers will instead make the trip to Blighty.
Axedale's new platypus sculpture will be revealed on Saturday.
Barooga Lions Club's stalwart of deb balls calls it a day after 17 years of service.
Jake and Todd Marshall led Deniliquin's thirds to an important victory over fellow finals hopeful Finley on Saturday.
Tackling salinity in the Goulburn-Broken basin was a key element of a presentation made to an international forum in the United States last month.
Devenish dog breeder Pam Gregg takes out Best in Show with labrador retriever, Charlie
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.