A Need for Speed >>

A Need for Speed >>
Dave Riddle is mad keen on horsepower . . . but it's not the four-legged variety that spins his wheels.
The bull farmer from Te Kauwhata is a regular at many of the top horse trials in the North Island – they call him the runner “extraordinaire”. He's the one who zips between fence judges collecting sheets and delivering them scorers.
There are plenty of stories about his stealth – he's driven up ramps and scared the living daylights out of scorers and has even been known to do a drive by . . . along the verandah at the Kihikihi dropping the sheets in without missing a beat.
Where some events will have two or three runners, the BNZ Kihikihi International Horse Trial has just one, and its been that way for years.
It's probably no surprise he is such a deft hand on the bike – after all, this is a many who competed for years in cross country (motor bike) racing and was fourth at the national champs.
These are three to four hour races, so he's got the stamina of an ox. Sixty-six year old Riddle figures he's probably been helping at horse trials for around 20 years . . . but he isn't really sure.
He was drawn into the world of horses through his daughter Bronwen and Pony Club. His wife Judy also use to be a regular at horse events too, but not so much these days.
Kihikihi isn't the only trials Riddle does either – he's also been regularly seen at Waerenga Pony Club events, Hunua trials, Puhinui, the Waikato Equestrian Centre and Richfields before it stopped. He was president of the Waerenga Pony Club and is also a life member of the club.
It's plain to see Riddle loves what he does, but there's more to it than that for him.
“It's the people you meet – they're a great bunch and I have known them for a long time,” he says.
For a break he heads down country . . . way down country for a spot of red deer hunting in the bush in the deep south. It's an annual pilgrimage and one he looks forward to a lot.
Riddle still rides his 250cc Kawasaki Stockman every day on the farm he manages and says he has no plans to retire just yet.
“The thing is you can bring a pony through the grades and make a little money when you sell it, but the minute you ride a bike out of the shop it loses money.”
But don't think for a minute that Riddle is giving up on his preferred horsepower!

ends

Date Added: Thursday, 1st May 2014


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