Billy the Kid Coming Back

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Cheeky Aussie raider Billy Raymont can’t wait to get to New Zealand to compete at what he calls "one of the world’s greatest shows".

The 32-year-old full time rider from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland is no stranger to the Horse of the Year Show and has taken home some mighty wins in the past.

He’s back this year and will be captaining the Australian team in the Mitavite Trans Tasman Test Series – the first of which will be at Showjumping’s Holy Grail on Sunday, March 16, followed by the final at the NRM Horse of the Year Show as part of the McMillan Feeds Silver Fern Stakes during the Hawke’s Bay Today Friday Night Extravaganza.

"We are not only planning on winning the team clash," he says, "but we are also planning on bringing some of your silverware back to Aussie with us!"

Raymont has done that in the past, and has his name on the Norwood Gold Cup on Kiwi horse Nicalette NZPH in 2011 and the Silver Fern Stakes on Levitation NZPH.

"That’s two out of the three (main trophies at HOY)," he says. "Now I really want the big one."

Raymont has been fourth a few times –  with Levitation NZPH and his own Stardom – and he feels his horse Stardom is crossing the Tasman in top form.

"He has been in great form since his fantastic run in New Zealand last year when he won the New Zealand nationals, so I am looking forward to HOY more than ever."

And he chuffed to be making the trip with three of his good mates – Merrick Ubank, Sheridan Manuel and Brook Dobbin, who make up the rest of the Australian team.

"I really enjoy the show very much," says Raymont. "It’s so huge having all the disciplines at one event and it’s a great opportunity to see them all."

But it is the competition that he enjoys most.

"To compete in such of a large passionate crowd is something else."


Photo Credit: Kerry Marshall/KAMPIC