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Courtney Barnes completes apprenticeship

(Courtney Barnes after a win on Gallant Dan at Kurow)

Courtney Barnes has completed her  apprenticeship at White Robe Lodge with  92 wins and $1,234,288 in stakes.  Barnes (21), who was indentured to Shane Anderton for four years (until January 31, 2016)  will remain with the stable.  The daughter of Paul and Janine Barnes (née Didham), Courtney joined WR from Taieri College after a background in pony club, show jumping and eventing. She began race riding in February, 2012 and had her first win seven weeks later at her fifth ride. The horse was Cheap Date, a jumper resuming on the flat from a  six-month break and at odds of 23 to one. Her grandfather, Mick Didham, a former jockey was on hand for the win. His brother "Midge" rode Baghdad Note to win the 1970 Melbourne Cup. Their father, Arthur, was a successful jockey. Courtney was back at Wingatui in  February, 2014 to win the  listed Dunedin Guineas on Include for the WR stable. She also won the listed Southland Guineas at Ascot Park and 2015 South Island Breeders' Stakes at Riccarton on Include. Courtney rode Include in  her 10  wins from 16 starts and finished sixth in the  group one NZ Thoroughbred Stakes at Te Aroha on the Gallant Guru mare. "I still see her (Include) in the paddock,'' said Courtney. Include has joined the broodmare band at White Robe and she is in foal to Savabeel. Courtney spent two weeks in Melbourne last July with  the stable of  Pat Carey. The visit was sponsored by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing. She rode at Flemington, Moonee  Valley, Euchuca and Sale.  Courtney has also experienced misfortune. She had a fall from Shirley Brook during a race at Cromwell in 2014 and she was kicked on the leg by a horse at the barrier for the feature race at Wingatui in December. It was a harrowing  occasion when she gave evidence, along with WR apprentice, Toni Direen at the coroner's inquest  into the death of jockey Ashlee Mundy following a race fall at Kurow in December, 2012.  Courtney was  the recipient of the inaugural Ashlee Mundy Memorial award made by  South Island senior jockeys in 2014, providing a two week stint with Cambridge trainers, Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie.