Norvall triumphs over adversity

Rogan Norvall gaining a well-deserved and overdue win on Itsabird at Te Aroha last Friday.

Rogan Norvall gaining a well-deserved and overdue win on Itsabird at Te Aroha last Friday.

Rogan Norvall’s tenacity was rewarded last Friday when he celebrated a well-deserved return to the winner’s stall.

His blood, sweat and tears approach to his profession earned him victory aboard the Andrew Meikle-trained Itsabird at Te Aroha to complete his comeback from serious injury.

Ironically, it had been on the same course nearly a year ago that an incident in the barrier left Norvall with fractures of the tibia and fibia bones and he also had a break higher up the leg.

“The course owed me and it’s a debt repaid now,” said Norvall. “I’m more relieved than thrilled and hopefully this win gets everything back on the road.

“I’ve had good people around me and there’s been a lot of gym work and my physio has been very, very good.

“There’s been a few bumps along the way, but we all worked together. I’ve had a lot of support from a lot of people and for that I am very, very grateful.

“I’m walking without a limp now, running is still a question mark, but it was before I had the injury!”

The 40-year-old rode his first New Zealand winner in the 2002-03 season after arriving from his native Zimbabwe.

His career highlights include three Group One victories aboard Veyron for his good friend and loyal supporter, Cambridge trainer Linda Laing.

NZ Racing Desk.