HEATHCOTE’S Kate Dempster has brought home the goods, coming away from the Royal Melbourne Show with a first and second placing in two show pony events.
“It’s always been a childhood dream of mine to compete in the Royal Melbourne Show,’’ Dempster said.
“There is no other feeling like it. It’s just amazing.”
This was Dempster’s second year at the show, having previously competed last year in the prestigious Geelong, Canberra and Melbourne shows.
Competing in these royal shows has been a major personal achievement for Dempster.
“It was my mum who originally got me into it all but I wasn’t born into it,’’ she said.
‘‘Everything I’ve achieved I had to work for that’s for sure.
“Winning just made all the 5am wake-ups and all those late nights worth it in the end.”
Dempster came first in the ‘Novice Show Hunter Pony, over 12.2 hands and not over 13 hands’ section.
She also came second in the open version of the same category, a remarkable placing against an open field of competitors all with varying levels of experience.
It was a special result considering the difficulty involved.
Dempster credited her reliable equine friend ‘Thamesbourne Top Hat & Tails’ for carrying her, literally, to victory at the renowned show in Melbourne. But her support cast isn’t limited to her steady pony either.
“Mum has been my biggest support for sure, my dad is also up there and also my partner too,” she said.
Dempster herself is a product of the old Heathcote Pony Club.
She now juggles a full-time job as well as having a small role at the club.
“I’m one of the instructors at the club teaching kids. It’s where I started 14 years ago on the other end (of the teaching),” she said.
“I just want to show them that you can go anywhere if you work hard for it.”
And work hard she did, waking up even before the crack of dawn, tending to and training her cavalry before she attends her full time job in Heathcote.
“It really is a lifestyle not just a hobby,” she said.
Next on the cards for Dempster is the Grand Nationals in Sydney, hoping she’ll be riding yet another winner.