Stawell's Natasha Raven flying high 

STAWELL - Natasha Raven is one step closer to achieving her life long dream of becoming a harness racing driver.

Natasha has spent countless hours fantasising about a life and career around harness racing and now looks set to reach that goal, after winning the Pony Trot at the Horsham Pacing Cup meeting.

The pony that has slowly become her own goes by the name of Ruby.

Ruby, with the assistance of Natasha, has been successful on many occasions going back as far as May, 2011 when Natasha first took an interest in the sport.

Their most recent success was in the Horsham Pony Cup, where the teenager and her four-legged companion shared in the glory.

Ruby started off a handicap of 280 metres, with only one pony ahead of her at 340 metres.

After the first half of the race was completed, it was obvious that Natasha and Ruby were on the verge of yet another win.

"Ruby just took off and left the horses for dead," Natasha's mother Rosalie said.

The 2012/2013 harness racing season was an impressive one for Natasha and Ruby, wrapping up the pony trotter of the year award in Ballarat as well as the Ballarat Pony trots cup.

Rosalie and Troy Raven, the proud parents of Natasha, have their own involvement with harness racing and cannot wait for her to advance to the next level.

At the minute the 15 year old spends all her spare time with the horses and ponies on the Raven property.

"She does anything she can even if it's just helping out," Rosalie said.

"Natasha will get her harness drivers licence when she turns 16. She will then have a probationary period where they do so many trials, then she'll be right to drive horses."

The Ravens currently have one horse, Bubble Art in work and one up and coming trotter in Mac Department.

Natasha's hero is Victorian harness racing icon Kerryn Manning.

Kerryn has agreed to have the youngster join her stables next year when Natasha embarks on year 10 work experience.

Natasha is currently on school holidays, but will return to Stawell Secondary College where she enjoys the art aspect of school most.

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