TBA Funded Management Skills Workshops

Last year TBA hosted a series of workshops across the country to help managers develop their leadership and communication skills. The feedback from those sessions was overwhelmingly positive so we are hosting an expanded series this year which will be run over two days.

Day One will focus on how to motivate and manage a team, respond appropriately under pressure, and navigate difficult conversations in the workplace. All who attend will complete a profile before the workshop,which provides great insight into each individuals’ management style and work preferences. Everyone who came last year said these profiles were incredibly helpful.

Day Two will be an extension of day one with focused learning on skill development around assertiveness, influencing, building trust and other key elements of communication and leadership. This session is available to anyone who attended Workshop One on the day prior.

If you came to a TBA Management Skills Workshop in 2022 you can choose to attend both days this year (if you want a refresher), or to just come to Day Two. If you didn’t attend last year you can come both days, or just join us for Day One.

The cost of the training is fully-funded by TBA and the content is primarily designed for team members in middle-management/supervisory roles.

Workshop Dates:

Scone: Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th June

Nagambie: Monday 10th & Tuesday 11th July

Toowoomba: Thursday 20th & Friday 21st July

Perth: Monday 24th & Tuesday 25th July

National Stud And Stable Staff Awards Honour John Brady For 70 Years Of Devotion

A consortium of the industry’s most passionate and dedicated individuals from all levels of the Australian thoroughbred breeding and racing communities assembled on the Gold Coast Turf Club – 2023’s host for the Awards’ ceremony – on Wednesday, to celebrate the Awards’ ninth cohort of finalists.

Seven categories and an overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award were presented by host and judge Caroline Searcy, and it was John “Crewie” Brady who was bestowed the highest accolade of the Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards: The Thoroughbred Excellence Award.

A true titan of Australian racing, ‘Crewie’ stands as a symbol of dedication having devoted his life to the thoroughbred. Celebrating a remarkable 70-year milestone, marked by commitment and passion, he commenced his career in 1953 as a 15-year-old under the tutelage of legendary trainer Tommy Smith at Tulloch Lodge. Brady has remained a valued member of that stable, where he continues to contribute his expertise. In a resounding testament to his achievements, he emerged triumphant in the Dedication to Racing category.

At 86 years old, Brady stands adorned with the winner’s trophy, a testament to a career that spans one of the longest tenures in Australian racing – a journey within Tulloch Lodge. Brady’s association with Tulloch Lodge predates even the illustrious champion racehorse for whom it was named, arriving a year prior to the birth of the stable’s current proprietor, Gai Waterhouse, who is Tommy’s daughter.

From humble tasks of mucking out boxes and blending feeds, Brady’s dedication saw him master the art of riding trackwork well into his 50s. He guided some of the greatest horses in Australian turf history along his unique path, solidifying his position as a trusted hand among greatness.

Brady’s enduring presence at Tulloch Lodge extends beyond his remarkable career; he remains a beloved source of guidance and wisdom. Gai Waterhouse, the current proprietor and one of his greatest admirers, describes him as a “legend” within the stable.

Waterhouse shared, “There can’t be many people in any industry who have worked with such dedication and loyalty as Crewie. My father regarded him as one of the stable’s great assets and so do I.”

Joining Brady in this distinguished honour are the winners of the remaining categories: Kayleigh Walsh of Fernrigg Farm, recipient of the Dedication to Breeding Award; Emile Fredericks of Widden Stud, recognised for Horsemanship; Sean Keogh of Godolphin, awarded for Leadership; Mary O’Neill of Newgate Farm, commended for Administration and Ancillary Services; Louise Abey of Abey Performance Horses, acknowledged for Thoroughbred Care and Welfare; and James Green of Armidale Stud, honoured as the Newcomer.

Applauding the winners at the Awards ceremony held on Wednesday night on the Gold Coast, Federal Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said, “When the racing stops, the work continues. The love and hard work is something rarely understood by people outside the industry.”

Echoing Brendan O’Connor’s sentiments, Queensland Racing Minister Grace Grace praised the dedication and devotion displayed by all industry participants and commended the Awards for their national and global significance.

“The Award finalists demonstrate the depth and diversity of the thoroughbred industry, and their hard work and devotion to our horses right across Australia,” Grace said.

The Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards have once again highlighted the exceptional contributions of the unsung heroes in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry. The accolades not only acknowledge their commitment, passion and contributions but also serve as a powerful reminder for aspiring individuals to embark on a fulfilling career in the racing and breeding industry.

This recognition is made possible through the collaborative efforts of Racing Australia, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Godolphin, alongside its dedicated sponsors: the Australian Turf Club, Inglis, Magic Millions, Marcus Oldham College, the Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, Racing Queensland, Thoroughbred Industry Careers and the Victoria Racing Club; and pushed throughout Australia by its media partners: 7Horse Racing, ANZ Bloodstock News, Racing.com, RSN Radio, Sky Racing and TDN Australia and New Zealand. These awards serve as an inspiring initiative, unveiling the untold stories and celebrating the contributions of the unsung heroes within the racing and breeding industry.


Administration and Ancillary Services Award – Mary O’Neill of Newgate Farm

Dedication to Breeding Award – Kayleigh Walsh of Fernrigg Farm

Dedication to Racing Award – John Brady of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott Racing

Horsemanship Award – Emile Fredericks of Widden Stud

Leadership Award – Sean Keogh of Godolphin

Newcomer Award – James Green of Armidale Stud

Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award – Louise Abey of Abey Performance Horses

Thoroughbred Excellence Award – John Brady of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott Racing

TBA Launch Young Breeders’ group

TBA is delighted to announce the creation of a new group for young people in the industry, TBA Next Crop.

The group is being created with the aim of providing those aged 36 and under with the chance to network with their peers in the industry, as well as the opportunity to continue their professional development and education.

Entry will be open to anyone who has an interest in breeding and will also provide access to a number of exclusive events.

“The board of TBA believe there is a chance to create a network where young people who are already in the industry, or those who may be interested in taking part, can meet,” said TBA chief executive, Tom Reilly.

“There will be three key themes to Next Crop: meet, grow and lead. We want to develop a forum for like-minded young people to meet and develop their networks; to access learning and training opportunities so they feel they are continuing their own personal development, and also to have input on the future of the thoroughbred industry through this group.”

TBA aims to have a chapter of Next Crop in each state, which will then feed into a national leadership committee. Membership will be free, with TBA making a contribution to the group’s activities.

“As an industry, we have to make sure we are continually looking to bring in new people and also retain those that are already involved, and I believe this initiative will help with both of those aims,” said TBA president, Basil Nolan.

“The boards of TBA and Aushorse have been talking about this for a little while and all of us are excited about the benefits of Next Crop. I think this is something that will be well received and we are looking forward to hearing from this group and acting upon their knowledge and insight.”

TBA has brought many young people into the industry through its national traineeship program, Fast Track, and this has given the organisation an understanding of some of the issues faced by those early in their career.

“We know from the graduates of Fast Track that there can be a number of challenges for those coming into our workforce: loneliness and a sense of isolation can be a challenge, especially for those who aren’t on big farms or are working in teams with an older age group,” said Reilly.

“We also get feedback around the frustration felt when people don’t feel they’re learning or progressing with more responsibility. We think through Next Crop we can provide opportunities to learn – a mixture of formal and informal – that will allow its members to feel like they are building their skills and knowledge. If people are more engaged with their work and the industry we think they’re more likely to remain in it.

“And most importantly, we want the opportunities that Next Crop will provide to be shaped by its members and those who have put their hands up to be involved in its leadership. We want to give responsibility to those involved and I’m sure that, in turn, this will help bring through the next crop of leaders who will push the industry forward.”

Anyone wishing to become a member of Next Crop can register their interest at www.tbaus.com or, if they are attending the Magic Millions mare sale, speak to a member of the TBA team at their marquee.

TBA Announce New Pathway Into Breeding

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) is excited to launch a new program that provides a pathway into the breeding industry for people changing career.

TBA Stud Start will give participants the opportunity to take part in an intensive 10-day introduction to breeding course at TAFE in Scone, followed by a work placement on a respected stud farm.

The program was developed after TBA received a record number of entries for its well-established national traineeship program, Fast Track.

“Fast Track has developed into a really successful course that brings people into breeding who would otherwise not get involved, but most of our trainees are in their early twenties or teens. This year we had a number of applicants who were a little more mature apply for Fast Track, so we were keen to tailor a program for them,” said TBA chief executive, Tom Reilly.

TBA Stud Start will begin on Wednesday June 21 and there are still a handful of places available on the course. Candidates are welcome from across Australia and people wanting to apply can click on the link below or email careers@tbaus.com.

During the induction in Scone the students will have the opportunity to do both classroom-based and practical ‘hands on’ learning with horses. The aim is to provide participants with the basic skills and knowledge to start their journey in the industry’s workforce.

This learning opportunity will also be supported with practical demonstrations from industry experts, as well as visits to farms in the Hunter Valley. For those taking part, TBA will pay for all training and accommodation during the program.

“This is a great opportunity for anybody who has looked at the breeding industry and thought that there might be a role in it for them. We think there are people who are looking for a change in direction in their career and this provides them a chance to do something that they will hopefully fall in love with,” said Madison Tims, TBA’s education and projects manager.

Stud Start is the latest initiative from TBA in the training and education space. Earlier this year the organisation launched its online education platform TBA Learning and it is also running a series of management skills workshops across the country in June and July.

The Fast Track program is now in its sixth year and there are 18 students arriving in Scone this weekend to begin that 12 month course. For the first time, Fast Track will include trainees who will be based on farms in Tasmania and Western Australia once they have completed their four-week training period in the Hunter Valley.

“We’re really excited about Stud Start and we’ve worked hard in the last month to try and get the course off the ground. We’re grateful to TAFE NSW for the effort they’ve put in with us to design a program that will work for this group,” added Reilly.

“I’d encourage anyone who has thought about a career working with horses and is looking for an opportunity to get in touch.”

Finalists Annouunced For The 2023 Stud & STable Staff Awards

A man who has devoted more than 70 years to one of Australia’s most famous racing stables, a former Uber Eats driver who accidentally discovered an affinity with thoroughbreds and a pair of women who have enriched the lives of hundreds of horses are among an extraordinary crop of finalists in the 2023 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

After sifting through one of the largest and most distinguished entries the awards have attracted, the judges settled on two finalists in each of seven SSSA categories.

And if there is one pair of contenders that represents what the SSSA stands for, it is John Brady and Ian Smith, in the Dedication to Racing category.

Known to everyone at Randwick as “Crewie”, John Brady arrived at the stables of legendary trainer Tommy Smith as a 14-year-old in 1950 – and he’s been there ever since, riding trackwork, mucking out boxes, dispensing wisdom and putting his personal touch on a long list of champions.

At 66, the other Dedication to Racing finalist, Ian Smith, is a youngster by comparison, but “Ginger” as he’s known, is an equally worthy contender.

Smith, who is officially registered as a stablehand with trainer Annabel Neasham, is unofficially regarded as “Sydney’s pre-eminent freelance strapper”.

In the words of his nominator, racing chaplain Colin Watts: “Ian is a caring gentleman, he does an immaculate job, he knows what he’s doing, he’s very punctual, and he just goes all day.”

Among the other finalists joining Brady and Smith at the SSSA ceremony on 24 May at the Gold Coast Turf Club will be Vivek Shamar, the one-time Uber Eats driver whose first contact with horses came a couple of years ago when he delivered food to the stables of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

Shamar soon swapped the car keys for a broom and shovel – and hasn’t looked back. Along with James Green from Armidale Stud in Tasmania, he is a finalist in the Newcomer Award.

In the Thoroughbred Care and Welfare category, Louise Abey and Julie Bramucci are the latest pair of “angels” to be named SSSA finalists.

Abey and Bramucci, both from Victoria, re-home and re-train scores of horses every year, largely at their own expense.

The finalists in the Dedication to Breeding category are Kayleigh Murray, the stud manager and veterinary nurse at Fernrigg Farm at Denman and Joel Stewart, the assistant stud manager at Yulong in Victoria.

In the Leadership section, the finalists are Finn McCarthy, a foreman for Tony and Calvin McEvoy at McEvoy Mitchell Racing, and fellow Irishman Sean Keogh, a senior foreman at Godolphin’s Victorian base at Flemington.

Emile Fredericks, the assistant yearling manager at Widden Stud, is a finalist in the Horsemanship category after being nominated twice previously. He is joined by Hazel Fertier, whose nomination is officially backed by just about every trainer at Murray Bridge in South Australia.

As well as the “hands on” categories, the SSSA recognises those who keep the wheels turning from the offices and other backrooms of the industry with the Administration and Ancillary Services award for which the 2023 finalists are Matt Harrington, the General Manager of trainer Danny O’Brien’s racing operation and Mary O’Neill, the “uncrowned queen” of Newgate Farm.

The Stud and Stable Staff Awards offer cash prizes of $10,000 to the winners in each of the categories of Dedication to Racing, Dedication to Breeding, Horsemanship, Leadership, Thoroughbred Care and Welfare and Administration. The Newcomer Award offers a cash prize of $5000, with the runners-up in each of the seven categories receiving $3000.

A Thoroughbred Excellence Award of an additional $5000 will be made to a nominee chosen from the winners of the various stud and stable awards, excluding Thoroughbred Care and Welfare and Newcomer.

The SSSA are staged by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia and are supported worldwide by Godolphin with sponsorship from the Victoria Racing Club, William Inglis and Son, Magic Millions, the Australian Turf Club, the Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, Racing Queensland, Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham College.

Administration and AncillaryMary O’NeillNewgate FarmNSW
Administration and AncillaryMatt HarringtonDanny O’Brien RacingVIC
Dedication to BreedingKayleigh MurrayFernrigg FarmNSW
Dedication to BreedingJoel StewartYulong InvestmentsVIC
Dedication to RacingIan SmithAnnabel NeashamNSW
Dedication to RacingJohn BradyWaterhouse & BottNSW
HorsemanshipEmile FredericksWidden StudNSW
HorsemanshipHazel FertierFreelance TrackriderSA
LeadershipFinn McCarthyMcEvoy Mitchell RacingVIC
LeadershipSean KeoghGodolphin AustraliaVIC
NewcomerVivek SharmaCiaron Maher RacingNSW
NewcomerJames GreenArmidale StudTAS
Thoroughbred Care and WelfareLouise AbeyAbey Performance HorsesVIC
Thoroughbred Care and WelfareJulie BramucciSelf EmployedVIC

Second Year Of Phase Two: Post-Mortem Of Late-Term pregnancy Loss Project Commences

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia is pleased to announce that Phase Two of the Post-Mortem of Late-Term Pregnancy Loss Project will continue for a second season in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC) and Queensland (QLD), starting 1st April.

In addition to Scone Equine Hospital, Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital and Darling Downs Vets, an additional three clinics have been added. Hunter Equine Centre (NSW), Bendigo Equine Hospital (VIC) and Scenic Rim Veterinary Services (QLD).

This project, funded through the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program, gives breeders the opportunity to receive a free post-mortem on eligible foetuses, providing farms the opportunity to improve mare management and minimise pregnancy loss both in the short and long term.

The results will be included in an anonymous database and over time will be analysed for causes and trends in the attempt to minimise abortions across the industry.

Please note there is a limited number of funded post-mortems available each season.

Each clinic has its own specific procedure for dropping off a foetus but as a general rule you must:

  • Contact the clinic first to make sure they haven’t exceeded their quota for funded post-mortems and that your foetus fits the eligibility criteria.
  • Sign a consent form – a vet will not start a post-mortem without this.
  • Double-bag the foetus using heavy duty garbage bags.
  • Keep foetus at a temperature between 4-10 degrees Celsius. To do this, it is recommended that the double-bagged foetus be placed in a large plastic container or bin with ice beneath it and on top.
  • Deliver the aborted foetus within 24 hours of discovery.

Breeders will be provided will a full set of results following the post-mortem as soon as possible. The EHV PCR will also be sent as soon as it’s available, usually within 48-72 working hours.

For the purpose of the broader research, all details will remain strictly confidential and the data will have no direct link to any horse, farm or breeder; the only people who will have access to the results are the mare owner, the vet who conducted the post-mortem and the lead researcher.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please contact James Murray at TBA on 0407 137 032 or james@aushorse.net.au.

James will be able to provide you with the detailed information specific to your state, including the relevant consent form, eligibility criteria, and transport and drop-off instructions.

You can also access the Frequently Asked Questions for each state via the links below and the required consent form:

Click here for Consent Form

Click here for NSW FAQs

Click here for QLD FAQs

Click here for VIC FAQs

TBA Launch New Online Education Platform

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) has launched a new online education platform designed to allow everybody the opportunity to learn the basics of horse care from industry experts.

The platform – which is hosted at TBALearning.com – already has some 20 modules online, covering areas such as conformation, checking horse health, how to safely load a horse for transport, and how to hold a horse for a vet or farrier.

TBA Learning was developed after breeders told TBA there was nowhere to direct new staff to, where they could learn the foundational skills needed for work in the breeding industry.

More than 40 farms from across the country were consulted as part of the development of the site, with breeders giving their feedback on what subjects were important to be covered.

Importantly, all courses are available for free.

“We heard from a number of breeders that there were a lack of resources to help support the development of new staff, particularly without having to enrol in a formal qualification,” says TBA chief executive Tom Reilly.

“With the help of the industry, who really got behind the project, we decided we could build something that filled that void. I think TBA Learning will be a great tool for farms across the country: we know we have a number of backpackers or workers who come in without lots of hands-on horse experience, so this platform provides an option for a manager to say, ‘go and complete the modules on horse health’ or ‘please do the module on checking horses in a paddock’.”

Each bite-sized module features video, audio and written content, allowing students to learn in a way that suits them. The modules are expected to take between 15-30 minutes to complete. They can be undertaken individually, or can be tackled as a larger course, in which related modules are linked together. The current courses are Horse Health, Horse Handling and Biosecurity, as well as the Foundation course which includes all modules.

At the end of each module there is a test, with students receiving a certificate of completion when they successfully get to the end of a module. These certificates can then be presented to an employer.

To access the modules and courses, students need to complete a simple registration. This will then allow them to complete their studies in their own time.  

This education project was assisted with a grant from the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Levy.

Among the experts sharing their knowledge are Mick Malone (Kitchwin Hills), Peter O’Brien (Segenhoe Stud), Kellie McCarthy (Mill Park Stud), Fiona Lacey (Mogumber Park), Cameron Bond (Kenmore Lodge), Angus McAlpine (Eureka Stud), Michelle Maidment (Coolmore), Barley Ward-Thomas (Godolphin) and Dave White (Vinery Stud).

Those teaching the modules were identified by their peers in the industry as someone they would want their staff to learn from.

“It’s something we’d use on our farm. It’s an innovative approach that’s accessible,” said Peter O’Brien, general manager of Segenhoe Stud. “It’s got a group of the industry leaders involved and each module is brilliantly explained in a practical way that makes it easy to follow. It’s the best thing I’ve seen for young people starting off in this industry.”

Brenna Murphy, of Noorilim Park, said: “Whether you are just starting out in the thoroughbred industry or looking for a quick refresher, it’s a great resource for anyone and everyone to use.”

As the course materials were created, video tutorials were shot at 15 farms across five states.

Mick Malone, of Kitchwin Hills, believes these videos will allow young people to learn in a way that is now familiar to them.

He said: “It’s so important for young people to watch the videos because they’ll learn from them and what they learn will stay with them for life. As they progress through the ranks on the farm, they’ll be able to pass on that knowledge to the next generation of people.”

While there are already 20 separate modules online, TBA plans for more to be developed in the future.

“Now that we have TBA Learning up and running it means we can add more courses in the future. One area we are considering is a course for people taking on a retired thoroughbred, so they understand the different needs of our breed,” added Reilly.

Although the platform was designed for those in the thoroughbred industry anybody who wants to further their horse knowledge will be able to enrol in a course with TBA Learning.

“I think it’s exciting that, as an industry that cares deeply for the care and welfare of our horses, we can have some of our experts sharing their knowledge with the broader equine community. I’ve already had a number of people from other horse sectors tell me they’re excited to see the courses and think they’ll be a great benefit to them.”

To visit TBA Learning click here.

The full list of experts and the modules they teach are:

Angus McAlpine, Eureka Stud: How to lead a horse; Barley Ward-Thomas, Godolphin: Transporting horses; Brenna Murphy, Noorilim Park: The horse’s age; Cameron Bond, Kenmore Lodge: The horse’s blind spots, and how horses learn: pressure & release; Dave White, Vinery Stud: Feeding and observing horses in the paddock; Dr Fiona Lacey, Mogumba Park: Temperature, pulse and respiration, and basic horse health; James Balfe, Master Farrier: Parts of the hoof, and how to hold a horse for a farrier; Jason Robinson, Widden Stud: Horse identification, colours and markings; Kellie McCarthy, Mill Park Stud: How to rug a horse; Kelsey Dance, Rosemont Stud: Biosecurity on farm; Kristy Reynolds, Scenic Lodge: Basic eerminology; Dr Michelle Maidment, Coolmore: Using PPE equipment, and parts of the horse; Mick Malone, Kitchwin Hills: Catching horses and letting them go safely; Peter O’Brien, Segenhoe Stud: Conformation basics, and introduction to pedigrees; Ross Fuller, Cornerstone Stud: Holding a horse for a vet.

Shortlist Announced For the 2023 Stud & Stable Staff Awards

The first step in deciding the winners of the 2023 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards has been completed with the judges settling on a shortlist that reflects the “strength and quality” of the hundreds of nominations received from across the nation.

Such was the standard of this year’s nominations; the shortlist committee was presented with a welcome dilemma.

“This year, due to the extraordinary quality of the nominations, the committee had difficulty shortlisting the nominees to five finalists in several of the categories,” the judges reported.

“Noteworthy again in 2023 was the number, exceptional quality, and diversity of nominations in the Newcomer and Administration & Ancillary categories.”

The panel reduced some 200 nominations for the 2023 SSSA to 41 across seven categories.

The shortlist is:

Leadership Award (Stud or Stable):

Sean Keogh (Godolphin Australia, VIC); Finn McCarthy (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC); Ben Gunn (Yulong Investments, VIC); Bruce Murray (Coolmore, NSW);

Paul Reid (Godolphin Australia, NSW); Phil Harris (Godolphin Australia, NSW)

Horsemanship Award (Stud or Stable):

Emile Fredricks (Widden Stud, NSW); Hazel Fertier (Freelancer, SA); Arda Tascioglu (Freelancer, NSW); Evan Henley (Coolmore, NSW); Stacey Reeve (Sledmere Stud, NSW)

Dedication to Breeding Award:

Kayleigh Murray (Fernrigg Farm, NSW); Dearne Gess-Jones (Merricks Station, VIC); Joel Stewart (Yulong Investments, VIC); Ngyrie Gonzalez (Alwyn Park Stud, WA); Robert Petith (Grant Bloodstock, NSW)

Dedication to Racing Award:

Adam Brewster (Phillip Stokes Racing, SA); Ian Smith (Annabel Neasham, NSW); John Brady (Waterhouse & Bott, NSW); Brooke Douglas (Yassy Racing, TAS); Nathan Tickle (Wild Oaks, NSW); Timothy Hanley (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC)

Administration and Ancillary Award (Stud or Stable):

Mary O’Neill (Newgate Farm, NSW); Mia Collins (TAFE, NSW); Wayne Massingham (William Inglis & Son, NSW); Anna Ryan (James Harron Bloodstock, NSW);

Matt Harrington (Danny O’Brien Racing, VIC); Sharon King (Amelia Park Farm, WA) Sophie Johnson (Michael Freedman Racing, NSW)

Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award:

Amy Thomsen (All4HoovesWA, WA); Julie Bramucci (Self-employed, VIC); Marybeth Lepine (Danny Bougoure, Falvelon Lodge QLD); Louise Abey (Abey Performance Horses, VIC); Phillipa Warman (PW Thoroughbreds, VIC)

Newcomer Award (Stud or Stable):

Georgia Bowen (Clayton Douglas Racing, VIC); Mia Herzog (McEvoy Mitchell Racing, VIC); James Green (Armidale Stud, TAS); Jarrod Robinson (Widden Stud, NSW); Romeo (Jason) Ahmed (Waterhouse & Bott, NSW); Vivek Sharma (Ciaron Maher Racing, NSW); Will Rapley (Fernrigg Farm, NSW)

The Stud and Stable Staff Awards offer cash prizes of $10,000 to the winners in each of the categories of Dedication to Racing, Dedication to Breeding, Horsemanship, Leadership, Thoroughbred Care and Welfare and Administration. The Newcomer Award offers a cash prize of $5000, with the runners-up in each of the seven categories receiving $3000.

A Thoroughbred Excellence Award of an additional $5000 will be made to a nominee chosen from the winners of the various stud and stable awards, excluding Newcomer and Thoroughbred Care & Welfare Awards.

The Australian SSSA are sponsored by the Victoria Racing Club, William Inglis and Son, Magic Millions, the Australian Turf Club, the Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, Racing Queensland, Thoroughbred Industry Careers and Marcus Oldham College.

Furthermore, without the tireless support of the Awards media partners, the SSSA message and call for nominations would not be feasible. Special thanks should be made to ANZ Bloodstock news, Thoroughbred Daily News Australia and New Zealand, Sky Racing and Racing.com.

The two finalists in each category will be announced on Friday, 31 March with the winners named at the annual SSSA ceremony hosted by the Gold Coast Turf Club on Wednesday, 24 May.

2023 Fast Track Applications Now Open

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia’s (TBA) commitment to finding the next generation of staff for the breeding industry continues with applications for the 2023 Fast Track program opening this week.

Now in its sixth year, the national training scheme offers people with a passion for horses a pathway into the breeding sector.

Developed in response to the industry staffing shortage, the 12-month program is designed to target people from outside of breeding and racing and introduce them to Australia’s vibrant thoroughbred scene.

“Through Fast Track, we’ve been able to create a pathway for new people to enter our industry regardless of their background or level of horse experience and we know the formula works – close to 90% of our graduates have remained working in the industry after completing the course, which is really pleasing,” says TBA chief executive, Tom Reilly.

Among the diverse graduates are an electrician, beauty therapist and a cricket coach, all of who were looking for a career change.

The current crop of trainees also includes an army veteran who developed a passion for horses after taking part in an equine therapy program.

Successful Fast Track applicants commence a full-time traineeship with a stud farm while studying for a Certificate III in Horse Breeding – a nationally recognised formal qualification.

To complement the on-the-job learning, students attend two intensive learning blocks in Scone (six weeks in total), where they receive a mix of practical training and classroom theory, as well as take part in a variety of field trips and personal development workshops.

These learning blocks are designed to prepare the trainees for life working on a stud farm and provide them with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to build successful careers in the industry.

Employers from around the country have embraced the program.

“We can’t run the industry without staff and the better the staff we have, the better the industry will be,” says Twin Hills Stud principal Olly Tait.

“TBA is finding trainees who have got an enthusiasm and an interest in horses and/or racing and we’ve been very fortunate to have some good trainees come to Twin Hills”.

A number of graduates have gone on to excel in various roles within the industry.

Alyssa Pickels, two-time runner up in the Newcomer category at the Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards, spent four years at Kitchwin Hills, working her way up to foaling manager.

Fellow Fast Track graduate Lachie Pethica is currently completing his second year of Godolphin Flying Start, while 2019 graduate Eliza Grantham is a rising star among South Australia’s thoroughbred ranks becoming one of the youngest stud masters in the country, standing Nostradamus at her family’s Springfield Farm.

Fast Track is open to anyone in Australia who is 18 years and over regardless of their level of horse experience.

Trainees have enjoyed placements on farms in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland and with planning underway for the 2023 intake, TBA are calling for farms from all states to get in contact if they are interested in taking on a trainee.

You can begin your application here.

Applications close March 12th and you can email careers@tbaus.com to find out more information. 

2022 Strategy Review

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) and Aushorse recently released its annual strategy review. This report outlines key initiatives undertaken in 2022 and looks what the organisations will focus on in 2023.

Click here to view the online edition of the publication.

You can also request a complimentary hard copy by emailing member@tbaus.com.