WORDS BY: KIERSTEN DUKE Pictures by GLYNIS HUTCHINSON
Track work riders, stable hands and strappers all work tirelessly around the clock providing love and care for these four legged athletes we all so dearly love and admire. They’re the backbone of the thoroughbred industry and it’s not often that they receive recognition for what they do. Each week we’ll be heading to a different racetrack in NSW to get to know and hopefully gain some well earned recognition for the lads and lasses that look after our horses on a daily basis.
This week we were at Warwick Farm getting to know Martin Parsons, a young rider with goals as big as his love for the sport!
Q. Who do you work for and what do you do?
A. I work for Clarry Conners at Warwick Farm as a track work rider.
Q. Years worked in the industry?
A. I was born into racing, my grandfather (Tom Ward) trained at Royal Randwick before he passed.
Q. Career highlights?
A. Working alongside some of the greatest riders & trainers to grace the turf!
Q. Favourite thing about your job?
A. Definitely having the opportunity to ride & do something I love as a job.
Q. What do you think needs to be changed within the industry?
A. I think there needs to be more opportunities for young, inexperienced riders to allow them to progress & move forward.
Q. Who is your favourite jockey & why?
A. My favourite jockey will always be Nathan Berry- sorry Tom! He would always go out of his way to make a difference & always had time for me whenever I asked him for advice. He was a natural born rider with great balance & was an all round horseman.
Q. Best horse you have ever watched race?
A. Would have to be Winx winning the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill this year
Q. Best horse you have ever worked with?
A. Gee I’ve been extremely lucky to have worked with some great horses over the years, Decision Time being one of them, having run second in the Golden Slipper for Clarry (Conners) as well as winning multiple group races in his prime. Kudero (Conners) would have to be my favourite horse at the moment though!
Q.Â What are your future goals and aspirations?
A. In the future I’d like to get my license, become Sydney’s leading metro apprentice & eventually win the Melbourne Cup!
Huge thanks to Martin for lending us his time to answer these questions. Stay tuned to get to know another unsung hero behind the scenes of the industry next week.