Shanna wins national quarter horse title
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
IT WOULD be hard for life to get much better for Calliope western performance rider Shanna Norris who is smiling after winning the national title at the Australian Quarter Horse Titles in Tamworth last month.
The popular 21-year-old took out the high point view of the show in the junior horse division on classy four-year-old stallion Gambel On Fortyniner.
Gambel On Fortyniner was in fine form at the country music capital of Australia with a strong, consistent display at the testing five-day event.
'He (Gambel) was in great form at Tamworth, he always rises to the atmosphere at the big events and performs to the occasion,' Norris said.
'I just had to ensure he stayed relaxed and was able to perform to his best.'
Like many riders with their horses, Shanna and Gambel have a special relationship which started when Gambel was bought as a two-year-old in Rockhampton.
"We have a great relationship and I know him as well as he knows me.
"We spend a lot of time together and in my sport it is important you know your horse very well,'' she said.
Shanna certainly gets plenty of time to know Gambel, covering thousands of kilometres every year for events, including last week's state titles in Gatton where she came fourth.
'The state titles were a nice event, we performed pretty well because the level of competition was very high,' she said.
Shanna also mentioned the great support of her family has been important during her career so far.
'Mum (Dana) and dad (Peter) help me travel to events, while I get some great moral support from my lovely fiance Tony.
'All three of them have helped me so much with my career and I could not have done it without their help,' she said.