Courtney Barnes completes apprenticeship
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.