By JONNY TURNER
Roxburgh junior driver Genevieve Crawford has celebrated another milestone away from racing.
The Geoff and Jude Knight stable employee runs Knight Stable Standardbred Rehoming, which finds homes for horses who have finished their racing careers.
When The Otago Daily Timescaught up with Crawford in August to discuss the venture, she had found new homes for 79 horses.
That led to her winning the young achiever award at the Otago Harness Racing Awards.
Since then Crawford has continued her work and demand for her horses has continued to grow.
After an organised horse riding trek near Lawrence during the weekend, Crawford arranged the rehoming of two ex-racehorses.
That took her rehoming tally past 100 horses.
The trek also served as an impromptu reunion for 11 horses she had rehomed.
The occasion gave her the chance to see the progression the horses had made from racing to recreational use.
“It was really cool.”
“They all look different and they look good and they’re all happy and they are all well behaved.”
The horses mostly recognised their former stablemates’ familiar faces, but two in particular did especially, Crawford said.
Tagataese and Dark Dana ended up in the Knights’ stable from very different paths after spending the early part of their lives together.
The two were rehomed in different locations but were quickly reacquainted, Crawford said
Her horses went to new homes across the South Island, but mainly in Otago and Southland.
Crawford gets regular inquiries from potential owners looking to buy a riding horse. Word of mouth from the people who have rehomed Crawford’s horses is what keeps demand at such a strong level.
“I talk to people on treks and sell them one and they bring it back the next year.”
Crawford educated the ex-racehorses to ensure they were suitable and ready to be ridden extensively.
“I have a couple of people that want some but the horses are not quite ready to go.”
That work is carried out after she is finished her duties at the Knights’ racing stable.
“No sleep, no social life – I just go home and ride all of these horses,” Crawford joked.
Crawford has enjoyed the start of her junior driving career and has had 26 races this season.
“I like it. I will probably like it more when I win a race,” she quipped.
The reinswoman has registered three placings, two of which have come on her own trotter, King Kone.
She races the 7yr-old with her grandmother, Elaine Crawford. The horse carries Elaine’s late husband John’s blue and white racing silks.
One horse in the Knights’ stable that will be rehomed in a totally different manner is Zenmach.
The 4yr-old Mach Three gelding has been sold to Brisbane interests after winning six races and nearly $35,000 for the Roxburgh trainers.