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Association continued with White Robe Lodge

(Debbie Henderson and her 4yr-old son, Will)

Debbie Henderson, a former top jumps rider with White Robe Lodge, has continued her association as a member of the Woolshed Wednesday syndicate.

"It has been great. We have won the Breeders' Stakes at Riccarton with Coulee and Of The Essence won 10 races since I joined the syndicate,'' said Henderson, of Oamaru.  Coulee capped the season with success in the group three $80,000 South Island Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (2/4/2016). She has won five of her 10 starts and $113,722 in stakes as a 4yr-old from the WR stable.

The Woolshed Wednesday, White Flash and Diamond syndicates, Gordon Dickson and Maurice Hampton, race Coulee with breeders Brian and Lorraine Anderton. The Gallant Guru - Cherry Creek mare will revert to Brian and Lorraine for breeding. The same deal applied to Of The Essence (Yamanin Vital - Bonnie Jay), winner of 2007 and 08 Clare Memorial Cups at Omakau and the 2008 and 09 Gore Cups.

Cathy Anderton (daughter of Brian and Lorraine) is manager of the WW syndicate. She was a founding member in 2000 with nine work mates from the Inland Revenue Department in Wellington. Vic Chapman is the other original member. Henderson, Graeme Lord (ex jockey) and Wally O'Hearn (Matamata racing journalist) joined in 2004.  Recent members are Paul Magill (ex work mate), of Wellington; Dave Hay (St John Ambulance paramedic), of Mosgiel; Maurice Lawlor (colleague), of Christchurch and Bill Hinton, of Dunedin.

"The first horse we raced was Perceptible. How lucky were we?'' said Cathy.

Perceptible, racing in the co-ownership of Brian and Lorraine, won the 2002 White Robe Lodge Handicap, Dunedin, Southland and Gore Guineas. The daughter of Personal Escort - Auricle has since left the winners Anudjawan (group race placed in Australia), Dr Sykes and Fortune Seeker.

The Diamond syndicate includes Lynne Lowry (sister of Cathy) and Sharyn Anderton (wife of Shane) and WR farrier, Mark Isaacs.

Henderson became the first female jockey to win the New Zealand Grand National Steeplechase when she rode the Brian and Shane Anderton-trained Noble Express in 1994 as a 20yr-old. She served an apprenticeship with the stable and had her first win on High Step over hurdles at the GN meeting two years earlier.

"I did show jumping as a kid and would ride in hunts on a Sunday when I became an apprentice. That was how a lot of jumpers were made,'' recalled Henderson. She won the time-honoured Great Western Steeplechase at Riverton on Jack Be Quick, Bryant's Cove, Fillibuster (twice) and Ricki Roo between 1994 and 2003. She had been off the scene for seven months with a broken pelvis from a schooling fall when she was engaged an hour and a half before she rode the John and Karen Parsons -trained Bryant's Cove in 1995. Paul Hillis, who had been engaged for Bryant's Cove, forgot to set his clock alarm the night before and missed a flight from Auckland.

Henderson broke her back in a fall from Cairnbrae in a steeplechase at Hastings in June, 2003. She was left a paraplegic and has since been confined to a wheelchair. She has a 4yr-old son, Will.