From the age of 11 Wanda Ings would skip netball training to sneak off to Barry Meyer’s stables in Avondale, New Zealand due to her love for the horses. This went on for 2-3 years until high school started but Wanda was hooked by the racing industry.
Wanda of Wanda Ings Racing, trained a winner at Kembla on Saturday, the 1200m Maiden Handicap with a mare on the up called Missile Miss. Our Robyn Fowler of Thoroughbred Events Australia caught up with her after the win to delve deeper into the life of Wanda Ings.
Photo credit: Bradley Photos
Missile Miss ridden by Brandon Griffiths
How long have you been in the racing Industry?
Since sneaking of to Barry’s stables in the afternoon it’s now been 50 years.
Where did you start working when you finished school?
I went to my uncle’s stables at Rotorua, New Zealand working around the stables and I then got my Amateur Jockey’s licence. In New Zealand at this time women could only be Amateur jockeys and ride in Ladies only races which were known as Ladies Bracelet races. We were not able to race ride against the men but could only ride in trials with them, how times have changed.
When did you get your trainers license?
A rode as an Amateur jockey for a couple of years and at age 21 got my trainers license in New Zealand and trained in Rotorua.
What bought you out to Australia from New Zealand?
I brought 5 horses over to Australia in 1987 as the prize money was very low in New Zealand. I stayed for 2 months and went home with 1 horse and left the others here. In 1988 I came back out to Australia with 8 horses and stayed.
When did you get your NSW Trainers Licence?
Due to my New Zealand trainers license not being able to be transferred to Australia I worked as Barry Lockwood’s foreman until 2000 when I obtained my NSW Trainers License. This I owe to the help of Michael Beattie who was a steward at the time. I set up stables at Newcastle for 18 months before coming to Hawkesbury Race Club to train.
Best horse you have trained?
Two Towers – he came 2nd to Niwot in the Winter Cup 2009.
What race would you love to win?
Australian Derby. I love training stayers but it is difficult to find stayers at the sales. Breeders aren’t breeding the staying types and some owners don’t have the patience to wait for stayers to mature. A lot would prefer sprinting types.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
Peter Snowden, I think he is a freak. He is a very smart man and I’m not frightened to ask him questions and he is very responsive.
Your daughter Chelsea is apprenticed to you, do you have any other children?
I have an elder daughter Lindy who works for Snowden Racing as his foreman. Lindy would help out at the stables before school but once she finished school she ventured out to other stables. Lindy has worked for a few trainers and was foreman for Peter Snowden when he was at Darley and then moved to Randwick when Peter started training with son Paul for Snowden Racing.
Chelsea is currently on the sideline from riding after she fractured her talus bone in a race fall at Port Macquarie. But keeping it in the family Chelsea’s boyfriend, apprentice Brandon Griffiths was on board Missile Miss which gave him his first win since riding in NSW. Brandon was previously from South Australia and is now making his mark here in NSW.
Thank you for your time Wanda and hopefully there are many more winners in the future.
Words by Robyn Fowler
Photo Credit to Bradley Photos