Harrison heading to Team Telfer - "it's a logical next move for me"

by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

It wasn't an easy decision but when opportunity knocked leading junior driver Alicia Harrison knew it was time to go.

The talented 26-year-old has been a fixture at Arna Donnelly's Cambridge stables but later this year she will make the move to the all-powerful Stonewall Stud and the premiership-leading stables headed by Steve and Amanda Telfer.

"Arna and I are very close, we're like sisters and I've been there like seven years - in fact I've been helping out there since I was about 13 - I've really enjoyed it but realised it's time for a change."

"It's a logical next move for me."

For Harrison the benefits of the move are obvious. She will part of the stable's state-of-the-art setup at Papakura and get a lot more opportunities to drive quality racehorses.

"Obviously Ben (Butcher) is the number one but Steve says I'll definitely be driving and they have some really nice horses," says Harrison, "and with me leaving the juniors in six months I really want to give it one last crack."

In recent years Harrison has regularly driven for the Telfers, winning with the likes of Enjoy Me, The Sportsman, Sarandon , Mimi E Coco and Check In.

So far this year she's driven five winners though she was sidelined for a long time after an horrrific head-on crash while travelling to Auckland in January. She was hospitalised after breaking her sternum and suffering burns from her seatbelt.

At the time of the crash she said - “I felt my internal organs moving – I felt like I was on fire.”

"I'm pretty good now," she says, "but I do get a bit sore sometimes."

Harrison will still be involved with the Donnelly barn till after New Zealand Cup week. Stable star Kango is all but guaranteed a start in the big race on Tuesday, November 8. He's ninth in the latest rankings.

After Cup week she's planning on having a fortnight or so off before making the move an hour or so north to her new home at Papakura.

"It's very impressive up there, " she says, "they have a bunch of houses on the farm and they are all spread out and I have a little place to myself so it should be good."

The Telfers are currently the country's leading trainers with 73 wins this year, nine clear of Robert and Jenna Dunn.

Harrison will be joining the team in December, the same month they are expected to clinch their first-ever trainers' premiership.


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