The South West sporting landscape has gone through its fair share of changes recently, with COVID-19 protocols changing how we view and participate in sport. However while most things have changed, some have stayed the same. Case in point, Collie horse trainer Raquel Williams. She may not have the biggest stable in regional WA, let alone the South West. But in terms of dedication, heart and spirit, both she and courageous mare Paddy’s Shadow have them covered. With a feature on the line, the Collie mare reminded us again why her qualities are so likeable — as many of them are values we hold dear to ourselves each day. Given the uncertainty of what COVID-19 community spread is serving up at the moment, this thrilling end to Bunbury’s showpiece event was a welcome distraction. Along with Paddy’s Shadow, Williams has enjoyed success with Escadaire and Precious Memories throughout her career as a trainer. However the true legacy of this victory, along with future success from other South West participants, will be welcoming new supporters to the industry. You see, racing is not all about money and victories. It is about human interest stories and people behind the scenes who get the most out of these incredible animals. Whether it is Boyanup’s Michael Lane, Burekup-based Graham Yuill or Capel’s Lou Luciani, every trainer in our region has a story and they all represent our region with distinction throughout WA. So if you enjoy racing and are captivated by people’s stories, I encourage you to learn more about our local participants, as they are the lifeblood of our sport in the South West.