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Parish stays the distance

Jockey Dianne Parish has to be admired for her courage and determination as she strives to remain competitive in Tasmania’s riding ranks.

Dianne Parish had her first ride in a race in Tasmania before most of her fellow female riders were born.

But unlike the others, Parish cut her teeth as a jumps jockey as well as being proficient on the flat and of late she has been finding the winner's circle regularly, riding a winner at each of the last four meetings in Devonport, of which the latest was Gee Gee Silentnite last Sunday.

She returned to riding 18 months ago after a lengthy break due to personal reasons but in December last year she broke her knee in a freak barrier incident in Launceston, but she still finished the race and weighed in after her mount finished fifth.

"It was a tricky break that took a lot longer to heal than expected (five months), but she was counting the days before finally returning to riding in May.

Parish, 53, lives at George Town but she thinks nothing of the 200km round trip to Spreyton and that's up to seven times a week.

Her work ethic and sheer determination has prolonged her career and much to the delight of trainer Michael Trinder and Team Wells, for whom she rides trackwork regularly.

Parish was a top jumps rider, winning grand nationals in hurdle and steeple disciplines, which is obviously from where her courage stems.

Her ride aboard Gee Gee Silentnite ($10) was outstanding last Sunday and even though it was her only win from five rides, only one of her runners started single figures.

Parish and Tasmanian Hall of Fame jockey Bev Buckingham are the greatest of mates and now that Buckingham is back living in Tasmania, she is a regular at the Devonport meetings and nobody is cheering louder than Bev when Parish boots one home.

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