WORDS BY: KIERSTEN DUKE
Darren Weir, Robbie Griffiths, Michael Hawkes and James Cummings, are just a few of the top trainers Claudia Ried has worked for in the industry. Despite only working with racehorses for the past five years, Claudia has managed to learn and gain experience from some of the best in Australian racing- and there’s no stopping her now!
Hey Claudia! Firstly, who do you work for and what do you do?
Hey! I currently work at Godolphin located at Osbourne Park in Agnes Banks, Sydney. I’m one of the pony riders there, as well as a stablehand and strapper.
How many years have you worked in the industry?
I’ve been working in the racing industry coming up to five years now. I’ve been very fortunate to work for some of the best trainers in Australia.
Have you got any career highlights?
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve had my career highlight just yet, I’d like to think there’s a lot more install for my future. Saying that, one of my favourite moments while working in the industry would definitely be travelling abroad to Chicago, America and meeting the incredible people over there, including training family Dale and Denise Bennett which was an opportunity I wouldn’t of had without one of Chicago’s very talented leading jockey’s, Chris Emigh.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Favourite thing about my job is definitely working with the horses, whether it’s riding them, taking them to the races or even just grooming them. They really do give you that sense of peace.
What do you think needs to be changed within the industry?
In general terms Australian wide, I know how hard it is for people to achieve that work/personal life balance. It should definitely be compulsory to have one full day off a week.
Who is your favourite jockey and why?
Hugh Bowman without a doubt, he’s the Cinderella story of racing at the moment. I love how when he rides Winx the whole nation rides with him. Even with so much pressure on his shoulders he is always so composed. It’s always incredible to watch Bowman and Winx team up.
If you were a jockey and could ride any horse past or present who would it be and why?
It would have to be Secretariat! That horse was almost fifty years ahead of his time. The records he broke were incredible!
Best horse you’ve ever worked with?
Megapixel! He was so fresh when I went out to ride him, you could tell exactly why he was a champion jumps horse, you could feel the power underneath you.
What are your future goals and aspirations?
I’d like to travel and ride work in other countries such as England, Ireland, France, Dubai and America. Ultimately though, I’d like to work as a presenter on one of the racings channels. I really enjoy doing race day form and talking about how individual horses have progressed through their preps.
Ok, last but not least, if you weren’t working in the racing industry what would you be doing?
I think you would find me being in the ocean as a marine biologist. I’m fascinated with the fact there’s a whole other world that’s not completely over run with human dominance.
Gaining so much experience in such little time just proves why Claudia has such a bright future ahead of her and we can’t thank her enough for allowing us to quiz her.
Thank you for reading about this week’s unsung hero in racing, we hope you had a magical Christmas and enjoy what the New Year has to bring!