Equestrian Hannah Klep was a fresh-faced 15-year-old when she purchased her horse Reprieve and their bond has been unbreakable ever since.
The former racehorse has overseen her journey from an aspiring local rider to representing Australia on the international stage.
Reprieve was an on-track thoroughbred with Joseph Jones Racing in Canberra, trained by Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones, and had one win from 25 starts.
Too slow to stay a racehorse, he was retired from racing and trained to jump, and was sold as a yearling for $650,000 at the Magic Million sale in 2009.
Thoroughbreds are often given a new lease on life as eventing horses, Klep explained.
"Because the thoroughbreds are so athletic, they make great jumping horses and have really good trainability. They are really smart and are great as an event horse," she said.
"Other horses like warmbloods just aren't as fit and athletic. It's a really good advantage to have a horse that's naturally fit like a thoroughbred."
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Klep bought Reprieve in 2014 after he was already retried as a racehorse.
"I've had him six years. A trackwork rider for Joseph Jones racing lived down the road from me, and my horse at the time went lame so she let me borrow Reprieve," Klep said.
'In a few months' time when she went to sell him, she saw our bond developing and I was able to buy him."
Klep, 21, started eventing with the pedigree horse at introductory level and moved up through the grades to three-star level.
The pair have competed together in events across Canberra, Melbourne, Queensland and New Zealand.
"He was learning while I was learning and so going through that journey together, we created a really special bond," Klep said.
"He's been everywhere. He did a massive competition in Adelaide called the Adelaide three-day event, the biggest competition in Australia.
"In 2019 we were selected onto the Australian team and we flew him on a plane to the Taupo three-day event in New Zealand."
Klep will be competing on Saturday at the National Capital Horse trials in Canberra, a national level event for eventing that's been running for 40 years.
More than 350 horse and rider combinations will gallop across country, including Klep, Nat Blundell and Olympian Rebel Morrow in the feature 2* class. The event will also feature dressage and showjumping.
"I'm excited to be competing in my hometown and having all my family and friends there," she said.
The equestrian will be riding another horse, Tulara Chichouve, for the event because the competition doesn't go to a high-enough level for the ex-racehorse.
However, plenty is on the horizon for the dynamic duo with plans to compete in the upcoming Australian Eventing Championship next month.
"Reprieve is a horse of a lifetime. He sort of created my career. I wouldn't be the rider I am today without this help," Klep said.
"He tries so hard and is so honest. He just wants to please me and is a very talented jumper."
Reprieve has a few years left in him for competing, but after his jumping days are over, Klep hopes "to keep him forever."
CANBERRA HORSE TRIALS in Curtin
Saturday: Dressage - 8am to 3.45pm all levels. Showjumping - 9.30am to 4pm, 80 and 95 classes. Cross country - 1.pm to 3.30pm, 1* and 80cm.
Sunday: Showjumping - 9am to 1.45 pm. Cross country - 9am to 1.30pm.