Finalists Announced for the 2022 Australian Stud & Stable Staff Awards

An inspirational compilation from a world of unsung heroes has been selected as the finalists in the 2022 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

Representing a range of occupations from across the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry, the 14 finalists range from stable hands to re-trainers to trackwork riders to men and women who ensure that future generations of racehorses are conceived, born and raised with love and devotion.

For all of them, the SSSA, offers both recognition and reward.

An initiative of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, and Racing Australia and supported by Godolphin, the Awards offer cash prizes in seven areas: Leadership, Horsemanship, Dedication to Breeding, Dedication to Racing, Care and Welfare, Administration and Ancillary and a Newcomer award.

In 2022, the eighth year for the SSSA in Australia, the judging panel has some typically difficult decisions to make.

The Dedication to Breeding (sponsored by Magic Millions) and Dedication to Racing (Sponsored by the Australian Turf Club) categories could well speak for the entire industry, and as a result they have revealed some outstanding figures.

In the former, Kelly Frost from Godolphin’s Northwood Park farm in Victoria and Drew Plater from Strawberry Hill Stud are both regarded as “naturals” in their nominated categories.

The Dedication to Racing contenders Michael O’Grady from Tasmania and Reg Fleming from Godolphin’s Melbourne team constantly use their decades of experience to extract the best from the horses they handle and offer the same to the colleagues they work with.

The task of educating retired racehorses for a life after racing is an area that evokes great passion, a quality possessed in large doses by the Care and Welfare Award (sponsored by Racing Queensland) finalists Fiona McIntyre and Grace Chantler.

McIntyre’s record as a re-trainer, a job she does as well as working full-time in another career, has made her renowned in both Australia and abroad, while Chantler specialises in picking up horses least likely to be taken on by other re-trainers.

In the Leadership category (sponsored by the Victoria Racing Club), Liesl Baumann the operations manager at Cressfield Stud and Sean Keogh a senior foreman at Godolphin’s Flemington training base, were nominated by colleagues who look to them as inspirations.

The finalists in the Horsemanship category (sponsored by Inglis) are Adam Shankly, a man who “stands out in a team of exceptional horsemen” and Emile Fredericks, the assistant yearling manager at Widden Stud where his calmness and confidence have made him one of the farm’s greatest assets.

For the racing and breeding industries to function efficiently, the office is as important as the racetrack or the paddock, and for those who organise, administer, answer phones, keep the books in order and just about everything else, there is the Administration and Ancillary Award (sponsored by the MRC Foundation).

The finalists in 2022 are Jess Hood from Arrowfield Stud and Emma Cully from the prominent syndicator, Star Thoroughbreds.

Hood has been on the Arrowfield team for 21 years during which time her nominator Paul Messara says: “Jess has had a positive impact on every part of the business.”

A similar accolade was bestowed on Cully by Star’s founder and leader Denise Martin who regards her as “a revelation who is vital to all aspects of our business”.

One of the aims in introducing the Newcomer Award (sponsored by Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham College) was to provide incentive for those near the beginning of their working life, and in the latest finalists, that ambition lives with Matilda Jones from the Waterhouse Bott racing stable and Sacha Roberts, a recent addition to the team of Mick Kent Racing in Victoria.

An overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award (sponsored by Godolphin) provides an additional prize of $5,000 to a winner from the above categories (excluding the Care and Welfare and Newcomer awards) judged to have made a “significant, exceptional contribution” to the industry.

The winners in each category, except Newcomer, will receive a trophy and cash prize of $10,000 with $1,000 to their employer to share among staff. The Newcomer winner receives $5,000 and an educational racing experience in Dubai.

The winners will be announced at the Stud and Stable Staff Awards presentation ceremony at the Gold Coast Turf Club on Wednesday, 25 May.

TBA On Bred To Win

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia CEO, Tom Reilly, joined Caroline Searcy on this week’s episode of Bred To Win to discuss a number of important projects the team has been working on.

Highlights include the launch of the Stud Staff Support Line which offers fully-confidential mental health support to anyone working in breeding, as well as securing concessional government loans for breeders via the Regional Investment Corporation.

You can watch the full interview below.

Breeders To Access Concessional Government Loans

Thoroughbred breeders will soon be able to access concessional government loans after a sustained lobbying effort by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA).

The loans will be available through the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC), a federally backed body that provides finance to primary producers. There are five different loans, all of which allow borrowers to pay only interest for the first five years.

Breeders will be able to use the loans for a wide variety of purposes including buying land, purchasing breeding stock, acquiring machinery and other capital investments.

Access to the RIC loans comes after a government review of the eligibility criteria, which had initially excluded horse breeders.

“This is a big win for the industry and I’m sure the loans will prove very popular with breeders across the country,” said TBA president Basil Nolan.

“For those people who want to grow their businesses this decision will be very welcome news as there aren’t many lenders who are willing to give you five years of paying interest only.

“There has been a significant amount of work in the background on this issue from TBA, so it is great to get this result.”

All loans through the RIC are provided on a variable interest rate, which currently stands at 2.31%.

To access RIC finance breeders will also have to have a matching loan with a commercial lender. For example, somebody borrowing $1 million from the RIC would be required to borrow $1 million from a bank or other lender. TBA understands that both Inglis and Magic Millions will be considered suitable commercial lenders, allowing for the investment in breeding stock.  

The RIC first began issuing loans in 2020, but eligibility was restricted to farmers involved in food and fibre production.

TBA lobbied federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, as well as Finance Minister Simon Birmingham to have this eligibility criteria changed. Last year Minister Littleproud announced that RIC would conduct a review of its lending criteria, with TBA providing a detailed submission outlining how these loans would allow breeders to strengthen their businesses.

Minister Littleproud welcomed the decision. He said: “The thoroughbred industry is an important part of our regional communities and economy, so I am pleased thoroughbred breeders will now have access to RIC loans.

“These RIC loans provide vital assistance in the bush, and I expect breeders will use this finance to invest in their businesses. It will further strengthen Australia’s reputation as a leader in the global thoroughbred industry.”

TBA chief executive Tom Reilly said the loans would be particularly well received by those breeders looking to expand their businesses.

“l’m delighted at this announcement as these loans will be particularly helpful for those breeders who are trying to really drive their operations forward and need affordable credit to make this investment happen.”

“This decision is a very tangible dividend on the strong focus TBA has placed on developing relationships with the federal government.”

Applications from breeders will accepted in the new financial year. More details about the loans available through the RIC can be found at ric.gov.au.

2022 SSSA Shortlist Announced

Record nominations from across the country and from all sections of the thoroughbred industry have been condensed to a short list of 36 candidates for the 2022 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards (SSSA).

The Australian edition of the SSSA, staged jointly by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, Racing Australia and Godolphin, is part of the worldwide series of awards that shine a spotlight on the thousands of staff whose devotion, skill and commitment ensures the survival of an entire industry.

In 2022, the eighth staging of the Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards will again deliver some of the most inspirational moments of the industry’s year. Over the nominations period, the Shortlisting Committee was presented with a record number, and increased quality of written nominations. Undoubtably, making the selection process the most difficult and debated for the SSSA’s dedicated Shortlisting Committee.

The Committee, chaired by Melissa Weatherley, includes Jenny Watson and Peter Heagney and this year welcomed James Tzaferis of Racing.com who bought additional resources and fresh eyes to the shortlisting process.

Key insights from the committee included the number of new Award nominees and nominators with an expectational number of nominations in the Newcomer category, providing the Committee with great optimism in the quality and dedication of new people entering the industry.

By the time the winners are announced at next month’s ceremony, the SSSA will have provided cash rewards approaching $1 million.

But for all who have been nominated, the most significant reward is recognition.

As the 2021 Thoroughbred Excellence Award winner Gary Fennessy said: “Racing provides some of the greatest thrills anybody could experience, but to know that the work we do is recognised and acknowledged means everything.”

Liz Andriske, whose tireless work rehoming retired racehorses earned her three nominations before she received the Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award in 2020, expressed similar sentiments.

“None of us do this for the money, it’s all for the love of the horses, so to just be a part of it is incredibly satisfying,” Andriske said.

In the past year, the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry, like every part of the community, has again had to deal with the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Again, it has risen to these challenges, hardly missing a beat, thanks largely to the care and conscientious effort of those industry participants who are rarely seen or heard.

“COVID had the potential to inflict enormous damage on this industry, but we came through it as well as we did because everyone at every level did what was needed,” said Tom Reilly, CEO of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.

“Without that effort from all sections of this industry, it could have been a very different story.”

In 2022 the SSSA has the support of sponsors from across the racing and breeding industry for each of the seven award categories.

The Dedication to Breeding and Dedication to Racing are sponsored respectively by Magic Millions and the Australian Turf Club; the Horsemanship by Inglis and; Thoroughbred Care and Welfare by Racing Queensland, Leadership by the Victoria Racing Club; Administration and Ancillary Services by the Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, and the Newcomer by Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham College.

An overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award sponsored by Godolphin goes to a winner from the above categories (excluding the Thoroughbred Care and Welfare and Newcomer), judged to have made a “significant, exceptional contribution” to the industry.

The winners in each category, excluding the Newcomer, will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and a trophy with $3000 to each runner-up and $1000 to share among workplace colleagues. The Newcomer winner receives $5000 and an educational visit to Dubai while the Thoroughbred Excellence winner receives a further $5000 cash prize.

The shortlist of nominees for the 2022 SSSA are:

Leadership Award sponsored by Victoria Racing Club (Stud or Stable): Fionnan McCarthy (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC), Johanne Taylor (Chris Waller Racing, VIC), Liesl Baumann (Cressfield Stud NSW), Samantha Parkes (Godolphin Woodlands, NSW), Sean Keogh (Godolphin Carbine Lodge, VIC).

Horsemanship Award sponsored by Inglis (Stud or Stable): Adam Shankley (Arrowfield Stud NSW), Emile Fredricks (Widden Stud NSW), Hazel Fertier (Freelance Track Rider, SA), Jesse Byrne (Byrne Equine WA), Wajid Ali (Freedman Brothers NSW).

Dedication to Breeding Award sponsored by Magic Millions: Ashley Porter (Three Bridges Thoroughbreds, VIC), Bailey Allen (Bucklee Farm, VIC), Drew Plater (Strawberry Hill Stud, NSW), Kayleigh Murray (Fernrigg Farm, NSW), Kelly Frost (Godolphin Northwood Park, VIC).

Dedication to Racing Award sponsored by the Australian Turf Club: Brett Killion (Chris Waller, QLD), Karen Oakford (Ellerton Racing, VIC), Michael O’Grady (JKB Racing, TAS), Timothy Hanley (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC), Reg Fleming (Godolphin Carbine Lodge, VIC).

Administration and Ancillary Award sponsored by the MRC Foundation: Amanda Pettman (Arrowfield Stud, NSW), Emma Cully (Star Thoroughbreds, NSW), Jess Hood (Arrowfield Stud, NSW), Kylie Mills (Godolphin Woodlands, NSW), Sam Scally (Cumani Racing, VIC).

Newcomer Award (Stud or Stable) sponsored by Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham College: Maddeline Dunbar (Godolphin Kelvinside, NSW), Madie Sanders (Travis Doudle Racing, SA), Matilda Jones (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing, NSW), Mia Herzog (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC), Michaela Kennedy (Coolmore, NSW), Sacha Roberts (Michael Kent Racing, VIC).

Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award sponsored by Racing Queensland: Fiona McIntyre (McIntyre & Lumsden Equine, VIC), Grace Chantler (Second Chance Horses, VIC), Laura Cheshire (Racing QLD), Louise Abey (Abey Performance Horses, VIC), Lyn Shand (Equus, VIC).

2021 Strategy Review

2021 Strategy Review Document Front Cover

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) and Aushorse recently released its annual strategy review. This report outlines key initiatives undertaken in 2021 and looks what the organisations will focus on in 2022.

Click here to view a Flipbook of the Strategy Review 2021.

Nominations for the 2022 Australian Stud & Stable Staff Awards are now open

Imagine waking up at 3am for work or working 12 days on, two days off. Imagine working Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, New Year’s Eve, or any public holiday. Sounds tough, right?

Well, this is the dedication our stud and stable staff have for the Thoroughbred and without doubt are the backbone of the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry, yet rarely are these unsung heroes rewarded or recognised by the industry for their hard work, dedication and passion.

That’s why the Stud and Stable Staff Awards (SSSA) supported by Godolphin, in partnership with Racing Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia were established in 2015. Although these Awards are an international initiative spanning across five countries, in Australia alone the SSSA’s have awarded over half a million dollars in prize money to 98 finalists since its inception.

Individuals can be nominated for an Award in any of the seven categories: Leadership, Horsemanship, Dedication to Breeding, Dedication to Racing, Administration and Ancillary, Thoroughbred Care and Welfare, and the Newcomer category.

In addition, the overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award will be selected from one of the five categories, excluding Thoroughbred Care and Welfare and the Newcomer Awards. This person must have made a significant, extraordinary contribution to the industry, as demonstrated by past winners as Mark Newnham (2015), Jenny Watson (2016), Jeremy Rogers (2017), Joe Agresta (2018), David Merrick (2019), Wendy Smith (2020) and Gary Fennessy (2021).

In the last six years, 1,026 people have been nominated for contributions to an industry that now employs an estimated 230,000 people.

Magic Millions Managing Director, Barry Bowditch, said the Awards reflect the gratitude the

racing and breeding industry have for its workforce and are vital in highlighting the importance of those who are the backbone of the Thoroughbred industry.

“We work in such a great industry and it’s the people that make this industry so extraordinary. It’s Awards like this that give our staff a chance to shine, be special and be appreciated.”

This is particularly so during a period where our industry has been able to function, and indeed thrive, during a distinctively challenging period.

Nominations are now open and will be accepted until Tuesday, 15 March.

The five nominees shortlisted in each category will be named in late March. The 11 judges, who represent all parts of the racing industry, will then convene to choose two finalists in each of the seven categories. The finalists will be announced on 14 April. The category winners will then be announced at the SSSA Awards ceremony to be held at the Gold Coast Turf Club on the evening of Wednesday, 25 May.

To nominate or for more information, CLICK HERE or contact Fran Khan at sssa@studandstablestaffawards.com.au.

Award Categories:

LEADERSHIP AWARD (STUD OR STABLE) sponsored by the Victoria Racing Club

A staff member in a managerial or supervisory role who displays quality people management, mentoring and support of staff, attention to workplace health and safety, commitment to continuous improvement and displaying good business acumen. Prize: The winner receives $10,000, trophy and $1,000 to the employer to share among staff. The runner-up receives $3,000.

HORSEMANSHIP AWARD (STUD OR STABLE) sponsored by Inglis

This person displays incredible horsemanship and has shown consistency and reliability in or out of the saddle. They must have an affinity with thoroughbreds and give priority to animal welfare, demonstrate a degree of success with the thoroughbred in breeding or racing or both, that has been born out of this skill set. Prize: The winner receives $10,000, trophy and $1,000 to the employer to share among staff. The runner-up receives $3,000.

DEDICATION TO BREEDING AWARD sponsored by Magic Millions

For an individual in thoroughbred breeding who has displayed horsemanship, consistency, and reliability in a stud role. Five years’ service in the breeding industry and being pivotal in their employer’s success is required. Prize: The winner receives $10,000, trophy and $1,000 to the employer to share among staff. The runner-up receives $3,000.

DEDICATION TO RACING AWARD sponsored by the Australian Turf Club

For an individual in thoroughbred racing who has displayed horsemanship, consistency, and reliability in a racing role. Five years’ service in the racing industry and is pivotal in their employer’s success is required. Prize: The winner receives $10,000, trophy and $1,000 to the employer to share among staff. The runner-up receives $3,000.

ADMINISTRATION AND ANCILLARY SERVICE AWARD sponsored by MRC Foundation

Works in any administrative or other support service role within the thoroughbred racing and breeding sectors. This includes, but is not limited to, administration/corporate roles, journalists, marketing and media staff, sales positions, auctioneers, gardeners, veterinary practitioners, farriers, barrier attendants, horse transport, grounds staff in sales companies, breeding farms or racecourses, horse dentists and physiotherapists. Prize: The winner receives $10,000, trophy and $1,000 to the employer to share among staff. The runner-up receives $3,000.

THOROUGHBRED CARE AND WELFARE AWARD sponsored by Racing Queensland

For an individual with a demonstrated commitment to the care and welfare of thoroughbreds who are not actively racing, and/or who created greater awareness, passion, and care for the thoroughbred horse in its second/alternate career (breeding, educating, pre-and post-racing career, re-homing, retraining, providing a comfortable retirement, etc). This may be, for example, a quiet achiever (paid or volunteer) involved in retraining or re-homing of the thoroughbred. The winner is not eligible for the Thoroughbred Excellence Award. Prize: The winner receives $10,000, trophy and $1,000 to the employer to share among staff. The runner-up receives $3,000.

NEWCOMER AWARD (STUD OR STABLE) sponsored by Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham College

Worked in any field in the industry for less than three years. The winner will display a passion for, pride in, and an excellent contribution to the thoroughbred industry. They will stand out from other newcomers and will be identified as a significant valuable member of this industry in the future. The winner is not eligible for the Thoroughbred Excellence Award. Prize: Thewinner receives $5,000, trophy, an educational racing experience in Dubai during March 2023* and $1,000 to the employer to share among staff. The runner-up receives $3,000. *Discretionary Prize.

THOROUGHBRED EXCELLENCE AWARD – OVERALL AWARD (STUD OR STABLE)

Selected from one of five categories, excluding Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award, and Newcomer Award. The chosen person must have made a significant and exceptional contribution to the industry. Prize: The winner receives $5,000, trophy, and $1,000 to the employer to share among staff.

Movement Of Mares Interstate


With the start of the breeding season fast approaching, we wanted to provide you with an update on the latest protocols for the movement of mares across state borders. TBA has been working closely with state governments and liaising with the state associations to try to ensure breeders have options to get their mares interstate.

As mentioned previously, commercial carriers are well set up to move mares across borders and will be able to navigate any of the protocols that are in place.

However, for those of you wishing to move mares with farm-owned trucks or vehicles, you will be required to have the right permits and there will be a number of protocols you or your employees will have to follow.
 
It should be said that, since last year’s breeding season, state governments have tightened up the rules for movement between states. This is largely due to the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
 
It is important that any breeder moving mares across state borders follow the protocols and requirements of their permits closely. Any outbreak of the virus that was linked to the movement of mares would jeopardise the allowances that governments have made for our industry. 
 
Essentially, breeders have been given an allowance to use the freight permit system for travel into Victoria, Queensland and NSW. However, to qualify for this exemption, farms need to use a vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass of more than 4.5 tonnes. Nearly all trucks commonly used by breeders would meet this restriction, though many floats are unlikely to do so.
 
TBA strongly suggests breeders only use their own truck or, if using a float, have evidence that it has a Gross Vehicle Mass of more than 4.5 tonnes.
 

Transport Of Mares Between Victoria And NSW

 
Anyone wishing to transport a mare across the Victorian state border must comply with the following protocols: 

1. Apply For A Permit

If you a travelling from NSW, you must apply for a Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) Permit. This permit will be required for anyone coming from an orange, red or extreme risk zone. Please note the whole of NSW is currently recognised as an extreme risk zone. 

2. Adhere To The Following Conditions

If you’re eligible for a Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) Permit and you’ve been in a red or extreme risk zone (such as NSW) at any time after the red zone or extreme risk zone commencement time in the last 14 days, you must:

If a Victorian resident travelling for work outside Victoria:

  • quarantine at your accommodation when not working or while traveling for work
  • get tested for COVID-19 at least once every 3 days during the time the permit is valid
  • only leave your vehicle or the accommodation where you are quarantining when working to undertake the work that makes you eligible for the specified worker permit (e.g. driving and unloading), and to:
    • access toilet and bathroom facilities
    • pay for fuel
    • purchase essential items
    • purchase takeaway food and drink
    • depart Victoria from an airport, seaport or railway station
  • must not carry any other person as a passenger in the driver’s cabin of a vehicle while traveling for work outside of Victoria, other than for the purpose of providing specified work in an occupation included in the Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) List
  • minimise contact with others when not traveling for work outside of Victoria
  • wear a mask indoors and outdoors whilst traveling for work outside of Victoria

If you are a non-Victorian resident in Victoria (i.e. Coming from a NSW farm for a cover in Vic)

  • quarantine at accommodation when not working
  • get tested for COVID-19 at least once every 3 days during the time the permit is valid
  • you must not carry any other person as a passenger in the driver’s cabin of a vehicle, other than for the purpose of providing specified work in an occupation included in the Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) List
  • only leave isolation to undertake the work that makes you eligible for the specified worker permit (e.g. driving and unloading), and to
    • access toilet and bathroom facilities
    • pay for fuel
    • purchase essential items
    • purchase takeaway food and drink
    • depart Victoria from an airport, seaport or railway station
  • minimise contact with others when inside Victoria
  • wear a mask indoors and outdoors unless an exception applies
  • only remain in Victoria for the period of time necessary to provide the work.

Other conditions apply. These will be clearly listed on your permit and as part of your application. To get a permit, you must declare that you accept these conditions.

You can apply for the permit here.

3. Carry Copies Of COVID Safe Workplan And COVID Safe Freight Plan
 
At all times, drivers should carry of copy of your farm’s COVID Safe Workplan. They are also required to carry a completed COVID Freight and Transport Plan (they will need to complete one these for each separate trip). TBA have developed templates for your use:

COVID-19 Safe Plan Template For Farms
COVID-19 Safety Plan Template For Freight And Transport
 
4. Have A Permit To Enter NSW
 
The NSW government still requires those travelling from interstate for work to apply for a permit to enter the state. 

This can be applied for here.
 

Transport Of Mares Between Queensland And NSW 

 
Anyone wishing to cross the QLD state border will have to abide by the following rules and restrictions: 

1. Complete A Border Declaration Pass
 
Breeders who are QLD residents and wanting to transport mares privately across the NSW border (ie. not with a commercial transport company) or to any other COVID-19 hotspot, will require a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass (Freight and Logistics – F Pass) to re-enter the state.
 
Breeders coming from a designated hotspot outside of QLD (such as NSW) wishing to transport a mare to a QLD-based stallion will also have to obtain a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass (Freight and Logistics – F Pass).

You can apply for an F Pass here.
 
2. Adhere To Mandatory COVID-19 Testing 
 
If coming or returning from a COVID-19 hotspot (such as NSW), drivers will have to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result received within 7 days prior to entering Queensland.
 
For QLD residents returning home, or if you are staying in QLD for an extended period of time, you must continue to be tested for COVID-19 on a rolling 7 day cycle until at least 14 days have passed since you have been in a COVID-19 hotspot outside of the border zone. Example: if your driver has evidence of a COVID-19 test four days prior to crossing the border, they must continue to be tested for COVID-19 every 7 days. This would mean that their next test would be within three days of arriving back in QLD and then every seven days after until 14 days have passed.  
 
3. Carry Copies Of COVID Safe Workplan And COVID Safe Freight Plan
 
At all times, drivers should carry of copy of your farm’s COVID Safe Workplan. They are also required to carry a completed COVID Freight and Transport Plan (they will need to complete one these for each separate trip). TBA have developed templates for you to use:

COVID-19 Safe Plan Template For Farms
COVID-19 Safety Plan Template For Freight And Transport
 
4. Keep Written Records
 
All drivers must keep written records of who they have come into close contact with while in QLD. If you are resident, you must keep the records for at least 14 days after returning home. These records should include: date, time, location and the person’s name and phone number.
 
5. Minimise Contact With Others
 
Queensland Residents: drivers who are QLD residents are not required to quarantine upon returning home but they must have no or minimal contact with the Queensland community while actively entering back and forth from COVID-19 hotspots ie. New South Wales. When travelling, they must only exit the vehicle to access rest stop facilities, refueling, and activities directly related to the purpose of the trip such as the unloading of a mare, or to meet required regulation activities such as workplace health and safety or fatigue management.
 
Non-Queensland Residents: while in QLD, non-residents must only remain in QLD for the time necessary to complete the essential activity, have no or minimal contact with the Queensland community while in the state and only exit the vehicle to access rest stop facilities, refueling, and activities directly related to the purpose of the trip such as the unloading of a mare, or to meet required regulation activities such as workplace health and safety or fatigue management. You must only stay in overnight accommodation when necessary to fulfil fatigue management requirements. No recreational activities are to be undertaken while in the state.
 
6. Have A Permit To Enter NSW
 
The NSW government still requires those travelling from interstate for work to apply for a permit to enter the state. 

This can be applied for here.

It is worth noting that these protocols may change during the course of the season. TBA will endeavour to keep you informed of any relevant updates but we also encourage you to monitor the state government’s websites (links below).

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.

Links to interstate permits:

Revised COVID-19 Guidelines

In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreaks and the emergence on the Delta strain, TBA have revised the guidelines that were developed last year for walking-on mares during the breeding season.

The Delta variant is considered more contagious and more resistant to health controls and preventions than previous strains of the virus, and people may be highly infectious before their symptoms show. 

Please remember that these guidelines are recommendations only and it is also important to follow any directions given by public health and government officials. 

Revised COVID-19 Walk-On Guidelines for 2021 Breeding Season

  1. All paperwork should be completed beforehand and sent electronically where possible.
  2. Stallion farms should keep a record of all people visiting their farm and walking on mares. This needs to be done in accordance with the relevant state or territory contract tracing requirements ie. QR code check-ins.
  3. Those walking on mares should limit their contact with stallion farm staff.
  4. Consider a mask-wearing policy for those coming with a walk-on mare, as well as for staff working in the covering shed.
  5. Maintain physical distancing of 1.5m where possible.
  6. Hand sanitiser should be provided and used by any visitor.
  7. Stallion farms may ask those coming with a walk on mare to remain in the vehicle and have their staff unload and handle the mare. In which case, all handles on the truck should be sanitised.
  8. Alternatively, farms may ask those coming with mares to unload the mare and put her in a stable or walk in yard and remove the head collar.
  9. Where possible farms should set aside a toilet for the use of farm visitors.
  10. Common areas and equipment that is in regular use should be disinfected often.

We’ve also updated our industry guidelines document to take into account the latest health advice. Although we are all more familiar with COVID-19 and the implications of living with it than we were 18 months ago, we hope that the document provides a handy refresher on how best to keep your staff healthy and safe, and minimise disruption in the workplace. 

Click here to view the updated guidelines.

COVID-19 Update From TBA

As we are now all too aware, the current COVID-19 situation is presenting every one of us with a raft of challenges.

At present there are many parts of the country in lockdown and, unfortunately, there are likely to be more outbreaks and lockdowns in the coming months.

I want to assure you that TBA is in regular engagement with state and federal governments, and has been since the start of the this crisis.

I also want to make clear that all governments regard breeding activities as part of the agriculture sector, and therefore an essential industry.

However, in order to undertake your business there may be protocols that you and your employees need to observe.

TBA has developed a number of documents to help you comply with these protocols.

These include:

COVID-19 Industry Guidelines

COVID-19 Safe Plan Template For Farms

COVID-19 Safety Plan Template For Freight And Transport

I strongly encourage all farms, no matter where you are based, to read the TBA Guidelines and then go to your state government’s COVID site to read their information and register your business as COVID Safe if applicable (links provided below). Many of you will have already developed your own farm COVID Safe Plan, but if not, the TBA template document may be helpful, while each state government have also developed templates for your use.

As with last year, the movement of mares across state borders is something that concerns many breeders. Again, freight companies are well set up to move stock and navigate any protocols.

For those wishing to move mares with farm-owned trucks or vehicles, we have developed in-principle agreements with the NSW, VIC and QLD governments relating to movement of mares. When these have been formally signed off by the relevant departments we will provide more details (likely early next week).

I am also conscious that many breeders in NSW will be concerned with moving stock between areas that have restrictions, especially with many parts of the Hunter being placed into lockdown today. Disappointingly, it has also just been announced that Victoria will go into a seven day lockdown.

Since the Hunter lockdown was announced, TBA has been in contact with the NSW state government to explain the needs of the breeding industry.

To ensure that drivers moving stock are compliant with all protocols, our advice is that all farms register as COVID Safe with the state government (including getting a QR code), they develop their own COVID Safe Plan, and complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for Freight and Transport for each relevant trip. 

Any driver or staff moving stock between these areas in lockdown should carry a copy of their farm’s COVID Safe Plan as well as an up to date COVID 19 Safety Plan for Freight and Transport for the journey they are on.

From our conversations with all state governments – and the experience of 2020 – we are confident that drivers or staff moving stock inside state borders will meet all relevant protocols if they have these documents in their possession.

As I mentioned earlier, we are hopeful of providing clearer guidelines for the movement of mares between states early next week.

As a general point, it is also worth stating that all governments are very concerned – and therefore are more risk averse – due to the high transmissibility of the Delta strain of COVID-19. Because of this, I think we should expect governments to move very quickly in imposing lockdowns and changing protocols when outbreaks occur.

We will continue to try our best in representing your interests and ensuring governments hear the concerns and needs of the breeding industry.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any concerns or queries.

Kind regards,

Tom Reilly

CEO Thoroughbred Breeders Australia

Please click on the relevant link below for information on how to make your business COVID Safe:

FAST TRACK’S THIRD CROP GRADUATE

2020 Fast Track Graduates from left: Dannielle Murphy, Lauryn Hall, Macey Irving, Ella Baird, Tess O’Connor, Celeste Kruger, Tom Giles and Brianna Sheffield. Absent: Roxley Duggan and Liz Richardson.

The third crop of the Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) Fast Track Program celebrated their graduation in a ceremony at Scone on Tuesday night.

Launched in 2018 by TBA in collaboration with TAFE NSW, Fast Track was designed to create a structured pathway to bring new workers into the breeding industry.

Over the past 12 months, the group have studied for a Certificate III in Horse Breeding while completing full-time traineeships with some of the country’s most respected stud farms, including Godolphin, Vinery, Widden, Segenhoe, Kitchwin Hills and Twin Hills.

“The program is now in its fourth year and it is proving a great way to bring people to our industry that would otherwise never come to work on a farm,” said TBA’s Chief Executive Officer, Tom Reilly.

“Our successful candidates have a mix of backgrounds; some having lots of horse experience, while others have never touched a horse, but have a passion for racing or interest in pedigrees before starting the course. Almost none of them, however, have a background with thoroughbreds.”

Along with the formal units of study, the program also includes a number of additional lectures from leaders in the industry, ensuring trainees develop a good understanding of different aspects of breeding.  

There is also a strong focus on personal development and transferable skills with the group taking part in first aid, defensive driver training and float towing with NRMA, workshops on workplace behavior and mental health, as well as quad bike and side-by-side training.

“Fast Track does an incredibly valuable job bringing young people into the industry and we’ve had a great experience taking trainees every year,” said Mick Malone of Kitchwin Hills.

“Everyone running a farm knows how hard it is to find staff, so this initiative is really important.”

With three intakes having completed the program, some 90% of graduates are still working in the thoroughbred industry.

The group that received their certificates on Tuesday included trainees from every state in Australia, with the exception of Tasmania. Due to COVID restrictions the class size was limited and all students had to begin their placements on NSW farms.

 “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the growth and development of our trainees over the 12-month period,” said Program Coordinator, Cecelia O’Gorman.

“Our 2020 graduates are an extremely passionate bunch and I can’t wait to see what they go on to achieve. In addition to those still working in Australia, we’ve had graduates complete the Irish National Stud Course, a two-time finalist in the Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards Newcomer category, and just last week, one of our alumni was awarded a spot on Godolphin’s Flying Start program.”

The 2021 intake for Fast Track began in Scone last month with trainees from NSW, Queensland and South Australia. Applications for the 2022 program will open early in the New Year with more information available at tbaus.com