“Psst Buster,there’s a new boss lady in town”


Kerry Prendergast, as she was known professionally, one of the most experienced horsewomen in the South Island, has taken on the role as assistant to Mark, starting this week.

Kerry is the daughter of  Lyn and the late Tony Prendergast and has been with horses since “the year dot” riding in trials before she was a teenager.

As part of the family team she travelled a number of horses to Australia and further afield, most notably St James for the Hong Kong Cup of 1989 and subsequently in Australia. St James was the unlucky runner in the somewhat bizarre Cup that year,denied a run at a vital stage of the straight with a leading Kiwi jock up. The eventual winner, with a dream run along the rails, was Aucklander Grey Invader only gained entry when another South Island qualified entrant,Palastone, mysteriously “could not be found” by officials for final veterinary tests in spite of being in the stable of one of the leading trainers in the country !

Kerry, the first woman to ride work at Sha Tin on that trip, rode several race winners and has also trained winners on her own account,had added experience in charge of some leading Prendergast jumpers in Australian campaigns and has worked on both sides of the Tasman. She has had a lower profile professionally for some time but never far from it.At one stage serious injuries threatened her future. But Kerry has overcome obstacles as well as any of the fine jumpers h used to handle.

Lyn is still enjoying success with her team while father Tony was a hugely popular and respected trainer for decades, a man who never did anyone a bad turn and did many people a lot of good ones. He also overcame serious injuries to resume a successful career. Tony notably had a series of outstanding horses such as Mr Ay Bee without having the advantages of wealthy sponsors to buy high grade stock for him to work on.

Kerry has assisted in standardbred  establishments including the Dalgetys in recent times,not surprisingly since and mum Lyn has been a successful trainer of standardbreds.

Having such expert assistant is a necessary move for Mark who now has all four of his team in work as well as aiding Nathan with a big harness team headed for big stake money.

“It was always likely. You just can’t do both on this scale without help and Kerry seems a good fit” Mark said

Two of the team two year old Captain Roy and the older Buster Shaw Mark hopes to have racing at the Timaru meeting on December 28. That all important first winner must now be close.






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