Teen jockey also eyes rodeo circuit

Ashley Frye aboard Petty Lane after winning at Ascot Park on Saturday.
Ashley Frye aboard Petty Lane after winning at Ascot Park on Saturday.

She once rode sheep and calves at rodeos and now she's winning on the race track.

Promising teenage jockey Ashley Frye was a star at the Ascot Park races in Invercargill at the weekend, combining with galloper Petty Lane to record a six-length winning margin in the Stadium Southland Game On Handicap.

Frye's story is unconventional, having started out on the rodeo circuit riding sheep and calves.

She rode sheep at Canterbury and Reefton rodeos as an 8 to 10-year-old before riding calves on the circuit for the next two years.

"Then I got a bit too heavy. I haven't done it for a few years."

She stayed aboard for the required time on most of her sheep and calf rides, she said.

"A couple of times I got bucked off and got the odd bruise."

The 17-year-old is thinking about riding steers on the rodeo circuit this summer, but will keep on riding horses as well.

The teen, from Balcairn near Rangiora, is in her first season of horse race-riding and Petty Lane brought up her sixth win from 20 rides.

"I can't complain," she said of her success.

Frye is employed by her father, trainer Danny Frye, who is an amateur jockey. She gained her first three wins on horses in the space of four days at Timaru and Cromwell between November 29 and December 2.

The Southland Times