Equestrian: Kiwi Vicki Wilson takes out prestigious 'Road to Horse' title

Kiwi rider Vicki Wilson is $US100,000 richer, after winning a prestigious American event, despite dislocating her shoulder early in the event.

In a stunning result, Wilson staggered seasoned observers by winning the prized "Road to the Horse" event in Kentucky last weekend in her first attempt.

She was the only New Zealander invited to compete in the invitation-only event which requires competitors to select an untrained three-year-old American quarter horse and then race several events.

Whangarei-based Wilson and her two sisters, Kelly and Amanda, achieved fame through a Kiwi reality television series, capturing their rescuing and caring of New Zealand's wild Kaimanawa horses.

Vicki Wilson celebrates her victory in Road to the Horse. Photo/Facebook
Vicki Wilson celebrates her victory in Road to the Horse. Photo/Facebook

Incredibly, Wilson dislocated her shoulder in an early round of the event, but was still able to overcome a top-flight field and take out the $NZ142,000 six-figure winner's purse, which she says will help bring her chosen horse, named Kentucky, home to New Zealand.

She was the first New Zealander to be selected to compete in the event, and the first English-style trainer, as opposed to western style cowgirls.

The Road to the Horse competition is one of the most coveted titles in the horse industry, regarded as the equivalent to Badminton in the eventing world or the US Open in golf.

Inclusion is by invitation only.

Wilson beat the most credentialed other competitors of American trio Sarah Dawson, Kate Neubert and Rachelle Valentine.

Keeping up with the Kaimanawas was the first or second most-watched evening show across all channels for the entire eight-part series, when it aired on TV One, securing more than 450,000 viewers each week.

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