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2019 Mongol Derby: Rider Feature 1 - Elise Stables & Justine Hales

2019 Mongol Derby: Rider Feature 1 - Elise Stables & Justine Hales


This is the first of a series of posts I’m going to write on this year’s riders and I couldn’t resist starting with a couple of Kiwis planning to ride together - Elise Stables and Justine Hales.

Elise Stables
Elise is a 19 year old from the Waikato in the north island, the home of thoroughbred racing in New Zealand. She has been riding track work for years, riding gallopers before school and then her own showjumpers after school. So don’t be fooled by her age! She may be young, but Elise has ridden thousands of horses in her life and as a good Kiwi girl she knows how to not just survive in the bush, but how to enjoy it. She wants to find out what she’s capable of and she may well find that she is a strong contender. I interviewed her just before she set off for Mongolia and I don’t know... I just liked her.

If you want to read more about Elise, she’s been covered by Stuff (https://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/108484765/waikato-student-elise-stables-youngest-kiwi-to-take-on-mongol-derby) and LoveRacing here in NZ (https://m.loveracing.nz/#!/News/28286). Elise is also on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/elisestableseq/) and Instagram (@elisestables), or you can follow her here - I’ll be following Elise particularly closely!

Justine Hales

Elise is riding with Justine Hales, a fellow Kiwi currently living and working in Australia. Justine grew up on horseback - hunting, going to pony club and helping her parents with the farm in Dannevirke on the eastern side of the north island. Her parents and grandparents also bred and owned racehorses; her grandfather bred the 1976 Caulfield Cup winner, How Now. Justine followed this family trend and currently works for Ciaron Maher running his pre-training complex in Pakenham, Cavallino Estate. It’s hard not to wonder whether the Ciaron Maher connection could do it again; his last minute replacement Adrian Corboy (who starts horses for him) and Annabel Neasham (his race manager) won in some style last year. It’s also worth mentioning that Justine is Brent Albuino’s pick; veteran of both the Mongol Derby and Race the Wild Coast and stalwart of the Australian racing scene I’d say this alone makes Justine one to watch.

QIf you want to read more about Justine, you can head to her FB page (https://m.facebook.com/Justines-Mongol-Derby-Adventure-2581973915207994/?ref=br_rs) or the feature by Racing Girl Blog (https://www.racinggirlblog.com/single-post/2019/06/18/Justines-Mongol-Journey). She’s also on Twitter (@justinehales).