Harness racing trip of a lifetime - "I just couldn't believe it"
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
It was billed as the "harness racing trip of a lifetime" and now Sammy Kilgour can't believe she has won it.
The prize was offered by global harness racing platform Harnesslink to celebrate its 20th birthday.
To get involved entrants had to subscribe to weekly newsletter, the Harnesslink Insider, and answer a series of trivia questions.
Now living in Victoria, Australia along with her partner and ex-pat Kiwi trainer-driver Josh Dickie, Kilgour considered herself a longshot at best.
"I just thought there'd be so many entries and then I found out I'd made the final and I thought that was really cool."
The "final" was limited to ten people drawn randomly from thousands of entries. Three Kiwis also made the cut - Paulette Screen, Steve Cornwall and Brian Cross.
Commentated by Matt Cross, the final was played out as a virtual Flying Mile, powered by the Catch Drive app and held at the Harnesslink Raceway.
"I was shocked to win it, I couldn't believe it," says Kilgour, "it's just a massive opportunity."
The competition, worth $10,000, listed eight possible destinations to some of the world's most iconic meetings including the Prix d'Amerique in Paris, the Elitloppet in Sweden and the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, USA.
Every option had its merits but one stood out for Kilgour.
"We are thinking the Hambletonian at this stage ..... America has the best racing in the world, it will be an absolute bucket-lister for Josh and me."
The Hambletonian will be held at the Meadowlands in New Jersey in August. It is named in honour of Hambletonian 10, who is known as the father of the American trotter.
"Josh and I want to see New York and New Jersey and go to the big farms there... it's been a dream of ours to get to America."
Kilgour hasn't been to the States since she was little - "I was about eight, I don't remember much about it".
A visit to the sales at Lexington, Kentucky and a catch up with old mate Paul Court (of Terror To Love fame), who's now living in Canada, are also on the cards.
Kilgour and Dickie re-located from south Auckland about a year ago to train from Kilgour's property near the Melton track just outside Melbourne.
"We just keep ticking on, we have seven in work at the moment."
Many weeks of holiday planning now loom - you get the sense Kilgour can't wait to get started.
"We are keen to make a real trip of it."