GLADSTONE based horse trainer, Jessica McCusker, had plenty to celebrate on Monday after success at Taree in the Race 5 2000m handicap event.
Komachi Force, paying at $5, was a winner by two lengths, netting prize money to the tune of $10,250.
The six-year-old mare was given to McCusker by Port Macquarie's Tas Morton after she had previously strapped and worked with his stable horses.
"I gave the mare to her because I had to bring in some youngsters and because she loves horses and really looks after them," Morton said.
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"I didn't want Komachi Force going to someone that was not guaranteed to look after her well."
With Komachi Force previously placing 3rd in Kempsey and Tuncurry, McCusker said she was confident success was just around the corner for the mare.
"I expected her to run well and fortunately everything fell into place, she was getting flattened turning for home in the races before and it was to get herself to keep coming but this time she rode to success," McCusker explained.
"It was really good feeling to achieve that first win."
McCusker had previously been working in Albury-Wodonga before moving back to the Kempsey area, overall she's been training horses competitively for around six years with her first event being the Boxing Day races at Wodonga in 2014.
"A while ago I moved down to Albury-Wodonga for 18 months to work in the stables for a few trainers down there in Brian Cox and Sylvia Thompson," she said.
"I really enjoyed the work there, I've been with horses all my life and decided it's another challenge I'd like to complete.
"The Ball family have been a great help for me in Gladstone as well as my Dad, Terry, who drives to every single race - that first win has a lot to do with his support and I've dedicated it to him."
As for the future, McCusker says she has no set date on her days as a horse trainer.
"I'll just play it by ear, I've got a few horses in the stable and a young one to come in a bit later that we've bred," she said.
Komachi Force's victory also sealed jockey Mikayla Weir's 200th career win.