> Guest Character
Kat Riley Gemma Bishop
Kat Riley 2003
Occupation: Stables Assitant, Student
After finding a horse wandering in Ramsay Street one day, Stuart Parker, who grew up in the country, managed to calm it down. But, when the people from the local animal shelter failed to come and collect the horse, he was forced to keep it in his backyard, only for it to run away again. After tracking the horse down to a field nearby, Stu was alarmed when a young woman ran over and accused him of stealing the horse, Serendipity, from the stables where she worked. Although Stu explained what had happened, the woman, Kat Riley, was still annoyed with him for not phoning around the local stables, before admitting that this wasn’t the first time that Serendipity had run off.
The pair agreed to make a fresh start with each other and, after taking the horse back to the stables, they went for a drink at Lou’s Place. There, Kat explained that she’d moved down from the country the year before, to study veterinary sciences at university in Melbourne, but had dropped out and now worked as a stable hand, helping little rich girls look after their ponies. The pair soon realised that they had something in common when she told Stu that she hailed from a small country town named Laidley, which, as it turned out, was very close to Oakey, where he had been brought up. Although she had to leave after one drink, Kat told Stu that he knew where to find her if he wanted to go out. He did contact her, but when they met for their next date, Stuart had been the victim of a practical joke. After falling asleep following a party at his house, someone had used a marker pen to draw glasses and a moustache on Stu’s face and, rushing out to meet Kat, he hadn’t checked himself in the mirror and couldn’t work out why everybody had been staring at him.
On their third date, again at the pub, Kat asked Stuart to teach her to play darts, before beating him several times and winning a bet to play blindfolded, with the loser buying champagne. After Stu realised that he’d been conned, Kat admitted that her father was a state darts champion. She then proceeded to beat him at pool, before admitting that her mum was nearly state champion in that sport. By the end of the evening, Stu had finally found something that he could beat her at – arm wrestling – and the pair shared their first kiss. For their next date, Kat and Stu went to a showing of Alien at the community hall, but Kat ended up spending most of the evening chatting to one of her male friends that she ran into, leaving Stu feeling jealous and Kat warning him not to crowd her. In the days that followed, Stu became more and more concerned about Kat’s male friends, before asking her if they could become a proper, exclusive couple. She agreed, but only if it remained fun for them both and, only a few days later, Stu decided to break things off, complaining that he always seemed to come second to her friends.
A couple of months later, Kat was giving a riding lesson to one of Stu’s neighbours, Summer Hoyland, and dropping her back at Lassiter’s when she ran into him again. The pair had a drink and a catch-up, but Stu was struggling to cope following the death of his friend, Dee Bliss, and, when Kat suggested that they give things another try, he turned her down, saying that they wouldn’t work as a couple now, after everything that had happened.
Biography by Steve