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:


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

Finalists Announced In 2021 Australian Stud And Stable Staff Awards

Finalists from across the country within the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry have been selected for the 2021 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards (SSSA).

With awards in seven categories and more than $100,000 in prizemoney, the SSSA offer substantial reward and recognition of the work, contribution and time given by those whose work is mostly performed behind the scenes.

Staged by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia, the Awards are sponsored by MRC Foundation, Australian Turf Club, Magic Millions, Inglis and supported by Godolphin.

The SSSA offers a $10,000 cash prize to the winners in the areas of Leadership, Horsemanship, Dedication to Breeding, Dedication to Racing, Administrative and Ancillary Services and Thoroughbred Care and Welfare, with a further $1,000 in each category to be shared among their workplace colleagues.

The runner-up in each category receives $3,000.

The SSSA also include a Newcomer Award that carries a $5,000 prize plus an educational experience in Dubai (Covid permitting).

In addition, an overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award of $5,000 is made to the outstanding individual from among the category winners.

The winners as judged by a panel led by South Australia’s chief steward Johan Petzer will be announced at a ceremony on the Gold Coast on 26 May.

The finalists chosen from over 170 entries are:


Jess Hood – Arrowfield NSW

Cassandra Simmonds – Magic Millions QLD


Carla Aliphon – CityView Farm VIC

Steve Brien- Twin Hills Stud NSW


Gary Fennessy – Lindsay Park VIC

John Brady – Waterhouse Bott NSW


Mandy Radecker – Michael Lakey QLD

Adam Shankley – Arrowfield NSW


Fiona Bayly – Ciaron Maher Racing VIC

Jack Cripps – McEvoy Mitchell Racing VIC


Samantha Parkes – Godolphin NSW

David Hanratty – Yarradale WA


Jade Willis – JW Equestrian VIC

Jordan Priest – Eureka Stud QLD

TBA and Aushorse response to claims made in a TDN AusNZ article entitled: Breed, Race, Trace: New rules from May 1

An article in Monday’s edition of TDN AusNZ raised the important issue of traceability and new rules that will require breeders to provide more timely information on the status of their horses, such as change of ownership or location.

In that piece, former Racing Australia chairman and Arrowfield principal John Messara reflected on the introduction of Foal Ownership Declarations in 2016, a change that brought in increased obligations on breeders to notify where an unnamed horse was located and its ownership details. These were an important first step in increasing traceability within the breeding sector.

Before I go on to discuss Mr Messara’s comments, it is worth reflecting on his enormous contribution to the Australian thoroughbred industry. A totemic figure, he has dedicated vast amounts of his time and energy to improving breeding and racing in this country, and I do not believe there is any director of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia or Aushorse, who would say the legacy of those efforts have not been positive.

But Mr Messara’s reflections on the introduction of foal ownership declarations do not align with those of the TBA or Aushorse directors involved in those discussions, or myself. More importantly, his comments do not reflect the genuine concerns the majority of breeders had with Racing Australia’s (RA) initial proposal (read more here). As we were not contacted by TDN AusNZ for a comment in relation to this story, the boards of TBA and Aushorse feel it is important to clarify the record.    

Those concerns related to RA’s attempt to bring all breeders under the rules of racing for their breeding activities, something not mentioned in Monday’s article. The view of TBA was that regulation for breeding should be carried out through the rules of the Australian Stud Book (ASB), the body that had overseen breeding in this country for over a century.

Having spent significant sums defending the authority of the ASB in a legal challenge over its ban on artificial insemination, TBA was well placed to know that the stud book has the power to compel adherence to its rules, with the threat that any breaches may prevent a breeder not being able to register horses.

Another concern was that making all breeders subject to the rules of racing would see Racing Australia, a body that has no representation from our industry, have the authority to make rules without proper input from our sector.

The claim that “the proposal to introduce traceability rules was met with fierce opposition from breeders… led by the Thoroughbred Breeders Association” is misconceived. Did TBA oppose Racing Australia’s proposal to bring breeders under the rules of racing? Yes. Did we oppose reform to improve traceability? Absolutely not.

In fact, rather than stymie reform, TBA made a proposal in 2016 to RA that went far beyond what was being considered, or since adopted, by RA in relation to welfare and traceability (read proposal).

In a document sent to Mr Messara in April 2016, TBA proposed the creation of clearer rules on welfare and traceability, and that any significant breaches of these rules should result in suspension or disqualification preventing breeders from registering a horse in the ASB.

And rather than the TBA fearing breeders would be “subject to constant scrutiny by the stewards”, our proposal actually called for the establishment of specialist stewards to oversee breeding matters. These were to be called Stud Book Stewards and they would have in-depth knowledge of breeding, rather than racing.

We wrote that their responsibilities should include: investigating breaches of traceability and welfare rules; advising and educating on best practices for equine welfare; liaising with animal welfare, industry and government bodies; and referring breaches of the rules to a panel to issue penalties.

Monday’s piece also stated, “We (RA) were right to withstand their opposition in 2016,” suggesting they faced down opposition to carry through their reforms.

In actuality TBA supported the reforms as introduced. They were announced in a joint press release (read here) from TBA and RA in September 2016 in which Mr Messara said: “It is pleasing that the matter has finally been resolved with the TBA.” In the same release Basil Nolan, TBA’s president, said: “We have come to an agreement with Racing Australia… and we look forward to carrying on this consultative relationship.”

What occurred before this announcement was that RA made important concessions around the issue of the rules of racing – clarifying that breeders would only be under the rules that related to welfare and traceability – and it was then that TBA agreed to the proposal. We did so, despite legal opinion stating racing administrators did not have the authority to regulate breeding, because we recognised the benefits of traceability reform.

My own reflections on this issue are that TBA did the job it was established to do some 102 years ago: to represent the best interests of breeders and advocate effectively on their behalf.

Could the introduction of these rules been better handled by all? Undoubtedly. Is it regrettable that relationships were damaged by this issue? No doubt. Were the rules ultimately introduced better than those first put forward? Definitely.

All of this, of course, occurred some five years ago. And as an organisation TBA is concerned with the present and the future, rather than raking over old coals.

I’m pleased to say that the new traceability rules coming in on May 1 were the result of open and collaborative dialogue with RA, including their current chairman Greg Nichols. This process allowed TBA to understand the issues RA were seeking to address, as well as providing them with insight into how changes would impact on breeders. We value this relationship with RA.

But TBA does not sit back and wait to comment on others’ proposals. On the issue of improving equine welfare, no organisation has done more in championing reform.

In 2018 we organised and funded two workshops on welfare, where leaders from the thoroughbred industry (including executives from Racing Australia and all principal racing authorities) could hear from leaders in other sectors on how they met their social responsibility challenges.

Among the topics presented and discussed were: the changing view of racing in the mass media; an account from inside government on the live export scandal and the impact of activism; how Dairy Australia led reform of industry practices to address welfare concerns; what the greyhound industry learned from the live baiting scandal; and how the big brewers put aside their rivalries to form Drink Wise.

At the second of these workshops in December 2018 a proposal was agreed to which would have seen the racing and breeding industry jointly fund a major review, to be carried out by external experts, to highlight our biggest challenges in the welfare and sustainability space.

However, when the proposal was later discussed by RA directors, it was unable to get the support of enough racing authorities to proceed.

While this review may not have prevented the ABC’s damaging 7.30 report into horseracing, it would certainly have put the industry on a surer footing in its response to the issues raised in that program.

In the aftermath of that show TBA again were at the forefront of the debate, publicly calling for an independent and expert review into welfare in racing and breeding, so that all could have their say on improving our industry.

In a meeting with Greg Nichols and then RA chief executive Barry O’Farrell five days after 7.30 aired we urged them to take the lead on this inquiry, and made clear that TBA would make a significant contribution to the costs of forming such an expert panel.

Despite the efforts of the chairman, there was not enough support at Racing Australia to set this body up.

When it was clear Racing Australia could not take the lead on this challenge, TBA was able to pull together a broad coalition of groups – from Tabcorp, through to race clubs and peak bodies – to establish and fund an independent welfare review, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Welfare Working Group (TAWWG).

On the announcement of the review federal Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, said: “I applaud industry for taking the reins and leading from the front… The initiative will improve industry transparency and ultimately improve animal welfare.”

I am pleased to say the TAWWG, which is being chaired by former Victorian premier and veterinarian Dr Denis Napthine and includes RSPCA Australia, will soon be handing down its final report.

The response to their work has been overwhelming. More than 180 people or organisations have made submissions with their suggestions on how to improve the industry: many of these have come from the most senior figures from racing and breeding, including champion trainers, major studs and every racing authority.

I strongly believe the panel’s final report will provide a valuable framework for industry participants, regulators and governments on how racing and breeding ensures the safety of its key participants, its horses, and retains the support of the public at large.

For that reform to take place will require collaboration and open and honest engagement from all the major players in racing and breeding. TBA will be ready to play its role in that debate and we look forward to engaging will all who want to be involved.

Stud & Stable Staff Awards Shortlist announced

The exceptional quality of the record entry for the Australian edition 2021 Stud And Stable Staff Awards has led to extended shortlist of finalists being required in three of the seven categories.

After sorting through more than 170 entries, 38 names will go through to the final judging with 18 names on the shortlist coming from NSW, 12 from Victoria, six from Queensland and two from Western Australia.

The judging panel led by South Australia’s chief steward Johan Petzer will further reduce the list to two finalists.

The 2021 Stud and Stable Awards, staged by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia and sponsored by Godolphin, the Australian Turf Club, the MRC Foundation, Magic Millions and Inglis will be made at a function at the Gold Coast Turf Club on 26 May.

The nominations shortlisted for the 2021 SSSA:

Leadership Award (Stud or Stable):

Sean Keogh (Godolphin Australia, VIC)

Phoebe Collins (Stewart Barr Racing QLD)

Samantha Parkes (Godolphin Woodlands NSW)

Johanne Taylor (Chris Waller Racing, VIC)

Alexandra Maher (John O’Shea Racing NSW)

David Hanratty (Yarradale Stud WA)

Horsemanship Award (Stud or Stable):

Adam Daly (Newgate Operations NSW)

Emile Fredericks (Widden Stud NSW)

Adam Shankley (Arrowfield Stud NSW)

Mandy Radecker (Michael Lakey QLD)

Simon Wells (Meagher Racing VIC)

Dedication to Breeding Award:

Carla Aliphon (Cityview Farm VIC)

Rebecca Jarvis (Godolphin Woodlands NSW)

Steve Brien (Twin Hills Stud NSW)

Belinda Bracegirdle (Yarradale Stud WA)

Michael Wood (Kooringal Stud NSW)

Dedication to Racing Award:

John Brady (Waterhouse-Bott Racing NSW)

Gary Fennessey (Lindsay Park Racing VIC)

Angela Taylor-Moy (Maher Eustace Racing VIC)

Brett Killion (Chris Waller QLD)

Claire Heuston (Chris Waller NSW)

Administration and Ancillary Award:

Joanna Swan (Kris Lees Racing NSW)

Mary Bowd (Godolphin Woodlands NSW)

Jess Hood (Arrowfield Stud NSW)

Emma Cully (Star Thoroughbreds NSW)

Mia Collins (TAFE NSW)

Cassandra Simmonds (Magic Millions QLD)

Newcomer Award (Stud or Stable):

Imanol Triana (Michael Freedman Racing NSW)

Jack Cripps (McEvoy Mitchell Racing VIC)

Fiona Bayly (Maher Eustace Racing VIC)

Ben Cook (Torryburn Stud NSW)

Rachel Willet (Lilivale Stud QLD)

Andrew Nolan (Coolmore Stud NSW)

Thoroughbred Care and Welfare Award:

Lisa Coffey (Racing Hearts VIC)

Jade Willis (Skyfall Park/JW Equestrian VIC)

Jordan Priest (Darling Downs Riding Centre/Eureka Stud QLD)

Louise Abey (Braelands Beef/Abey Performance Horses VIC)

Fiona McIntyre (McIntyre & Lumsden Equestrian VIC)

2020 Strategy review

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) and Aushorse recently released a report titled Strategy Review 2020. This report outlines key initiatives undertaken last year and looks at major issues we are trying to resolve in 2021.

Click here to view a Flipbook of the Strategy Review 2020.

Stud & Stable Staff Awards More Relevant than ever in 2021

In any racing season, the survival and success of the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry are primarily due to the dedication of those who work anonymously behind the scenes.

But during a year in which Australia and the world were affected so disastrously by the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry owed more to its backstage crew than ever.

If not for the diligence and care of all industry participants, Australian racing would have been forced to close down, as it did in many other countries.

It is, therefore, more relevant than ever that Australia’s Stud and Stable Staff Awards (SSSA) will again honour and reward the strappers, stablehands, trackwork riders, breakers, grooms, stud hands, float drivers, office administrative staff, re-homers, and more.

As a tribute to them all, the Stud and Stable Staff Awards offer recognition and more than $100,000 in prizemoney.

Nominations for the seventh edition of the Awards staged by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia and supported by Godolphin are now open.

Offering prizes in seven categories, plus an overall Excellence Award, the SSSA endeavour to add balance to the way the industry rewards those who keep it going.

TBA Chief Executive, Tom Reilly, said the Awards represented the gratitude the racing and breeding industry owed to its workers.

“Great trust was placed in the industry to take responsibility for its own existence during all the lockdowns and restrictions imposed on the wider community,” Reilly said.

“Much of that trust was borne by those who work in racing stables, on farms and in other areas behind the scenes. Thanks to their conscientious approach to the restrictions and precautions, many livelihoods were preserved.”

The significance of the SSSA is also reflected in the words of the 2019 Excellence Award winner Joe Agresta, a renowned exercise rider who played a vital role in several of trainer Bart Cummings’ Melbourne Cup wins.

“None of us do it for money because there isn’t any. We do it because we love horses, love being with them, love looking after them,” Agresta says.

“These Awards mean so much to everyone who is nominated, not just the winners.

“These are the people who are rarely seen or heard, but they are as important as anyone in the business.”

Nominations for the Awards are open to all workers in all categories and anyone can nominate anyone.

The SSSA categories for 2021 are Leadership, Horsemanship, Dedication to Breeding, Dedication to Racing, Administrative and Ancillary Services and Thoroughbred Care and Welfare, all of which offer a trophy and $10,000 to the winner, $3,000 to the runner-up and $1,000 to share among their workplace colleagues.

In addition, the Newcomer Award carries a $5,000 prize plus an educational experience with Godolphin in Dubai in 2022, with the winner of the Excellence Award receiving $5,000 in addition to the category Award, with a further $1,000 to be shared among colleagues.

Nominations for the 2021 SSSA open on 8 January, they will close on 9 March, and nomination forms are available online via the Stud and Stable Staff Awards website

The Awards will be presented at the Gold Coast on the 26 May.

Supporting Your Employees’ Mental health

Register For Mental Health Webinar

As we are all too aware, the impacts of Coronavirus has meant 2020 has been a challenging year. Whether it has been maintaining a business in lockdown, being prevented from seeing family and friends or the stress of the economic uncertainty, there have been more reasons for people to feel anxious than before. 

To help farm owners and managers of staff better deal with the challenge of mental health, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia has set up a webinar with mental health educator Pippa Baker. Pippa is known to TBA as she delivers mental health first aid training to our Fast Track students each year.

Pippa will provide some easy steps for supporting staff over the next few months (especially leading into Christmas), and some general tips on fostering good mental health within your team. 

There are two session times to choose from: Monday 30th November 5pm (AEDT) orTuesday 8th December 4pm (AEDT) and you can register for your preferred day by registering here:

Register For Mental Health Webinar

The webinar runs for one hour and we are encouraging all farms to get involved and register. Some of the topics that Pippa will touch on include: 

  • When should you be concerned?
  • Deciding whether to talk to the person
  • Planning your approach
  • How to have the conversation
  • Providing support and information as a Manager

You can read more about Pippa online here.

If you have any questions or would like further information on the webinars, please contact Cecelia at