The Thoroughbred Club – Corsette Wins

TEA were privileged to be part of another “Polo in the City” incredible day – this time Melbourne.

The Thoroughbred Club – Meet Debbie Dennison

Meet Debbie Dennien.  What a Thoroughbred Girl.  

Deb is a pioneer jockey who rode in races when they first licensed women and was lucky enough to have received great support from other women and some very competent men in the industry. 

Debbie claims she was just lucky to have had the right people around her but we all know how much strength that would have taken (as a girl) to have broken through.  

Starting relatively late, Debbie Catledine (later to be Dennien) learnt to ride at the age of 17 when her stepfather bought her a pony. 

Claiming to be “hopeless” but had so many people helping her, Deb ended up working at a riding school in Newcastle to gain experience.  

A young Deb was in awe of her instructor (an amazing classically trained, Hungarian rider) who saved horses from the dogger sales and  trained them up to compete at Prix St George.  

Deb was offered a position as stablehand/trackwork rider at Rosehill and says it was Mark De Montfort who gave her much support.  He used to get her to ride Ray Guy’s young horses with him. Deb started riding work at Rosehill when there where only two girls riding work, both for a good old trainer – Jack Brigden. 

It was clear that better the jockey, the more they were happy to encourage women. Deb ended up riding work at Ballina where her parents live and then went to Qld only because a jockey going up to help sell horses couldn’t go at the last minute. 

While there Deb was offered an apprenticeship by a country trainer.  While there, it was Iris Nielsen, one of the most beautiful souls ever who encouraged her but sadly, Iris was the first woman to die in a race fall riding against men in Australia. 

Deb’s career would go on to consist of 60 rides for 9 1/2 winners with her biggest thrill winning the Nanango Windfield Cup.  

With so much gratitude Deb says that without these guys that entered her life and encouraged the girls, she believes they would still be getting off at the gate and letting the guys do all the riding. 

As Mrs Dennien, all her four children have ridden and competed at pony club and shows.  One daughter still Events. 

Home consists of an array of amazing OTTers. All the champs live a peaceful life on the farm – like a retirement village.  

A darling old favourite Thomas (show name Edison, racing name Smoko Tom) was recently put down at the age of 31.  He may have been a very slow racehorse but certainly a versatile horse in most other areas. Three state PC teams and winning the pleasure Galloway at the Ekka. 

To add – on the side, Deb opened a small dress shop with her daughter where they started dressing girls for the races. 

It goes to prove, you just never get racing or thoroughbreds out of your blood.

The Thoroughbred Club – Gresford Show – Plenty of Off the Track Horses Competing

Our NSW Thoroughbred Club Ambassador – Trina Crawford, attended the Gresford Show on 9 March which offered two full days of competitive events and exhibitions.

The Thoroughbred Club – Ivy Parsons & Spinout

Meet owner – Ivy Parsons – and her horse, Spinout. 

Here is a brief overview of Spinout’s race history:

Spinout is by Hard Spun out of Red Princess.  He is a 6 yr old thoroughbred gelding standing at 15.1 1/2h.  I have renamed him VALENCIO for the purpose of his EA and SHC registrations.

Ivy’s  story on how she came to own Spinout:

I purchased SpinOut from his trainer Roy Rogers Racing on the recommendation of his trackwork rider Indiana Weinhert. Indi says “I was in Perth at Dion Luciani stables I fell in love with the horse, a week later when my boss Roy Rogers came back from Perth I walked around the corner to see his face in the barn in Albany! I was super exited and the name Alvin from the chipmunks came straight to mind cause he was super cute and friendly! He also had bit of cheekiness about him when you went into his yard to feed him he would try nibble on your clothing and follow you everywhere in his yard, was always a fun horse to have around! He was super cute!

What discipline does Spinout now excel:

SpinOut is maturing into a lovely horse and is taking to showjumping, pony club and local hack shows very successfully.

He tries his hardest for me and I think he’s the perfect teenagers thoroughbred to learn the ropes of the reeducation process on and I’m really looking forward to our 2019 season together.

Personal story about Spinout:

He was very sensible to ride and a very quick learner – not afraid of much (as we rode in the bush a lot of the time). Spinout never pulled, just stayed nicely on the bit.  He was every track work riders dream 😁

On that recommendation I took Spinout off the track to be my first project. He had trialled 7 time and had 3 races in total for no success. He has proven to be quite the character too chewing hoodies, hats and anything he can get himself into! He thrives on human attention and always likes to be the centre of everything. Mum and Dad call him annoying 😂 and I was told by his breeder he was named “ferret” when he was younger.

Thank you Ivy.

We at Thoroughbred Events Australia and The Thoroughbred Club wish you all the success in the world because of you we know our beloved race horses are being cared for.

The Thoroughbred Club – Will & Talia Sims

Meet owner Talia Sims and her horse, Will (race name Whispering Dream)

Here is a brief overview of  Will’s race history:

Will had one start but was retired due to roaring. When he left the track he can straight to me to begin his new life.

What is your story on how you came to own Will:

I love giving them a second chance at life.

What discipline does Will now excel:


Personal story about Will:

He is very dirty and a character and likes to show his private parts the minute I get out of the saddle :) This makes cleaning for me very easy….otherwise he is very mouthy and plays with everything that’s within his reach so your tackbox will be empty very soon….

Thank you for your story on Will.

We at Thoroughbred Events Australia and The Thoroughbred Club wish you all the success in the world.
Because of you we know our beloved race horses are being cared for.

The Thoroughbred Club – Wagga Wagga & Natalie Conway

Meet owner Natalie Conway and her horse, Wagga Wagga (race name Glo Whirl)

Here is a brief overview of  Wagga Wagga’s race history:

He is so good they named him twice!! His race name is Glo Whirl, his EA name is Mercutio. Sired by Clear Choice. He gets his name Wagga because he raced in Wagga Wagga in Greg McDermotts stables for a while and even started in a few steeple chases too. He’s competed around the eastern states up to 1.20m SJ mostly with an amateur rider. While in Toowoomba competing in 2010, he survived a colic operation when they pulled 6 endoliths – each the size of a rockmelon – out of his intestines. Wagga was one of the first 10 horses to be diagnosed with equine flu when that was a huge epidemic and shut down all the shows. He’s taught numerous people how to ride and is often recognised at shows by people who have been in his life at some point!

What is your story on how you came to own Wagga Wagga:

I only met Wagga 3 months ago abs he’s completely changed my life. Wagga has given me the greatest gift of enabling me to reignite my long lost passion for horses. As an adult he’s given me purpose, confidence and improved my mental health in ways I never through the possible, I’m even competing in the SJ ring, thanks to him. Wagga is absolutely 1 in a million. Oh and I also know he’s irresistible to most mares (and some Stallions).

What discipline does Wagga Wagga now excel:

Show Jumping

Personal story about Wagga Wagga:

While in Toowoomba competing in 2010, he survived a colic operation when they pulled 6 endoliths – each the size of a rockmelon – out of his intestines!!

Thank you for your story on Wagga Wagga.

We at Thoroughbred Events Australia and The Thoroughbred Club wish you all the success in the world.
Because of you we know our beloved race horses are being cared for.

The Thoroughbred Club – Sharky

Meet owner A Williams and her horse, Sharky (race Recife Beach)

Here is a brief overview of  Sharky’s race history:
Sharky was only a baby when he arrived at our racing stables where I worked with him and also rode him track work and attended race meets with him, He won $100k in prize money from roughly 30 starts. He won he’s last race on Christmas Eve at scone where I strapped him.

What is your story on how you came to own Sharky:
When Sharky ran his final race the trainer contacted me and offered me to take him home and I did.

What discipline does Sharky now excel:
Show Jumping

Personal story about Sharky:
He’s got so many quirks, He tries to eat the judges hats when awarded ribbons

Thank you for your story on Sharky.

We at Thoroughbred Events Australia and The Thoroughbred Club wish you all the success in the world.
Because of you we know our beloved race horses are being cared for.

The Thoroughbred Club – Tiger

Meet owner Tahlia Hurley and her horse, Tiger (race Easy Tiger)

Here is a brief overview of  Tiger’s race history:

Easy Tiger was born on the 17/09/2010 in New Zealand. He was bred out of St Reims and Zeparty girl. Tigers background consists mostly of American breed thoroughbreds but also traces of Irish, France, Australian and New Zealand. In 2012 at the Festival sale Tiger was sold to Phill Cataldo Bloodstock for $6000. He was trained at Peters Stables Ltd and went to his first race on the 10th September 2013. He completed his last race on the 22nd May 2014 with only winning $875 prize money in his whole career. He was then sent over to Australia to be rehomed.

Tahlia’s  story on how she came to own Tiger:

I got my first thoroughbred/ first horse when I was 17 right in the middle of my HSC. After having a thoroughbred on free lease during year 12 I fell in love with the bred and wanted a thoroughbred to continue eventing despite the reputation they have been given about being hot and hard to train to be supple due to there natural body build. I got Kuda and he was super quiet. He was a black 10 year old up the central coast and I fell in love with him the moment I cantered him. However the day I went to pick him up I was jumping him and he really jumped over a little oxer and I fell off. I looked at my mum and said “At least I have something to work on”. He was my first horse so taking him out was super exciting. He was very natural at dressage and he scored consistently high 60% to low 70%. Unfortunately he wasn’t going to make it to my 1* goal as he wasn’t always super consistent jumping and I needed that at the time. I went looking at horses and wanted a warmblood cross thoroughbred but when I tried Tiger I loved his spring in his step, his lightness off the ground and LOVED the jump. I missed my distance going into a 1.30m jump and he just sorted himself out and carried on I knew he was my big eventing chance. I loved him and mum surprised me with him about a week later.

What discipline does Tiger now excel:

Show Jumping

Personal story about Tiger:

I love my boys both so very much. I cant say i even have a favourite as they have very different personalities. Kuda is a snugly bug he loves having a cuddle and closing his eyes as you stroke his head. He will let anyone do it. He loves attention and he knows he is loved and adored. Tiger is harder to please you have to earn his trust. I was finishing up a ride one day and i was giving him a big hug because he was so good and i had finished and was about to get off him. I was lying down on his neck a second too long and he pulled his neck down to reach the grass and like a little kid does, i slipped down his neck over his head and ended up underneath him. He looked at me with this mysterious look as if he had no idea how i had magically gotten there.

Thank you Tahlia

We at Thoroughbred Events Australia and The Thoroughbred Club wish you all the success in the world.
Because of you we know our beloved race horses are being cared for.

The Thoroughbred Club – Brie Dawson, Hedgerow Performance Horses

How wonderful is it to continue to hear amazing stories about our off the track thoroughbreds.  We now are going even further and wanting to know about the amazing people that are retraining them.  Our first story is about Brie and her absolute dedication to the retraining of thoroughbreds.  He love and passions shines through and we cannot thank her enough for dedicating her time to looking after our much loved race horse.

Please tell us all about you?

Name:​                          Brie Dawson​
Business Name:​         Hedgerow Performance
Business Address:​     1264 George Downs Drive Kulnura​
Business State:​          NSW​​
Contact No:​               0435790431

Hello! My name is Brielle Dawson and I am passionate about thoroughbred and their life after racing. I sort of fell into re-training thoroughbreds through a lot of ambition but not a lot of money behind supporting that dream!

My parents never had the money to buy me a ‘schoolmaster’ so I had to learn how to train a horse to a level I wanted to compete at from scratch. My first racehorse was called Born Free who I bought at age 11 and him and I eventually competed to 1* level for many years successfully.

Over the years I have retrained over 50 racehorses to performance horses with all of them being sold on to suitable homes to enjoy a suitable career after racing while working in real estate to support my horses.

Recently with a young family I have taken the plunge to make what was for many years my ‘side gig’ and make this my professional career. I am now selling horses for clients, training my own thoroughbreds and also taking clients horses in for re-schooling with much success.

We currently have 7 racehorses that are in work retraining with us and would love to take on more but unfortunately presently we cannot afford the outlay. At the moment with clients’ horses, I ride close to 11 horses a day with no groom or extra set of hands. The days are long and at the moment very hot but it is all worth it when you see the horses transforming and starting to understand their new careers.

Talk about your property:

I am not lucky enough to own my own property but I have been very fortunate to be based out of beautiful Dalkara Park in Kulnura NSW. The facilities are excellent spread over 38 lush acres with each horse having an individual paddock and shelter with most of them living on hay and getting fatter by the day because the grass is that good! We have a beautiful 80 x 50 sand arena with jumps and a large roundyard where we can start our horses off before they “graduate” to the arena!

What are your goals:

At the moment my goals are all business related, I have some personal competition goals to reach with my two OTT boys who are not for sale but the business is taking priority this year. We are in the process of launching a website to help OTT find new homes and are trying to get to the point that our schooling and horse sales side of the business is making enough profit that we can start bringing on some more OTT’s then we currently have to start their new lives!

Tell us a story about any of your off the track thoroughbreds:

Paddock Name:  Humphrey​
Race Name: Red Extension
Brief Overview of your OTTT Race History

Humphrey had 17 starts and won close to $70000 so he wasn’t a terrible racehorse by any means! He won at Warwick Farm and Kembla Grange and had a few 2nds at other provincial meetings.

Brief story on how you now own Humphrey?

Humphrey is a little bit of a cheeky bugger and had ended up at a friend of mines place. She was planning on selling him but due to the fact that he absolutely loves to pigroot she didn’t think she would have much luck and didn’t have the time. I was looking for a few new horses and she offered him to me, I also thought I was going to sell him on but I have fallen in love with his cheeky personality and find his pigrooting quite hilarious so he will stay with me and be my comp horse!

What discipline does Humphrey excel?

Humphrey is a natural born eventer, after 4 weeks of training he went out and completed Berrima Horse Trials where he finished 13th out of 33 competitors. He is now training around 1.05 and jumping up to 95cm cross country fences.

What you love most about Humphrey?

That he is an absolute menace to deal with but has an absolute heart of gold.

Paddock Name:  Gordon​ (Gordy)
Race Name:    Gordon Gekko
Brief Overview of Gordy’s Race History?

Gordon was bought to go to Hong Kong, had 2 races came dead last and was sent home!

Brief story on how you now own Gordy?

Gordon was at Hillview Thoroughbreds after coming back from HK and I saw him on Facebook and just fell in love with him!

What discipline does Gordy excel?

Gordy could be a superstar at either showjumping or eventing but he loves cross country! He is the most amazing jumper but he is just so reliable and calm that he makes you feel like you could jump anything on him

What you love most about Gordy

Gordy is so perfect in every way, he is kind, gentle, a darling to ride and has the sweetest personality. When I had my baby I made the tough decision to sell Gordy as I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete as much as I used to. His new owner Rachel loves him so much and they are out having an absolute ball together.



Thank you Brie for sharing your wonderful and dedicated story with us.

Here at The Thoroughbred Club always support our slogan – “We Care”.

The Thoroughbred Club – RUNNER UP – Tsu & Madison Turnham

Congratulations to our 2019 Runner-Up Winner, Northbridge Riding Club Off The Track Thoroughbred Of The YearTSU (race name Pacific Tsunami) owned by Madison Turnham.


Here is a brief overview of – name – race history:

Tsu was definitely a slow runner! Doing a handful of maiden races as a 3 yo. By Gerry Harvey’s best stallion (Conatus) and out of Marauding Wave. Tsu didn’t have such a big impact and was not what they were expecting:

Warwick Farm – 10th of Feb 2009 – 4th out of 6 – trial
Warwick Farm  – 27 Feb 2009 – 10th out of 10 – trial
Wyong – 26 Mar 2009 – 11th of 12
Newcastle – 7 Mar 2009 – 11th of 14

After these starts he was deemed too slow and retired.

Madison’s story on how she came to own Tsu:

I was searching for my 2nd horse. A horse to help me find my footing into jumping bigger classes (1m +) and we saw his ad. He had already sold but the sale fell trough and we got him! He was going to teach me heaps, and he has – but not in the way people would think!

What discipline does Tsu now excel:

Show Jumping

Personal story about Tsu:

I love Tsu’s personality the most. He truly loves people so much and craves their space in a non pushy manner.  He will always have a chat without a doubt with nickering if you start talking to him.

After last year’s issues (life threatening colic, sudden cancer surgery and paddock accidents causing some severe trauma related injuries) he still thoroughly enjoys the company of humans and wants to hang out with you.

I am in awe of his determination.  The speed at which is recovered to get back to work was truly amazing.

Even after all these problems he also took me around my first 1.05 (at Sydney CDI – was a toughie) without consistent work for a month due to me now being in hospital.

Tsu thrives knowing he is performed well. He just gives it his all.
He does get bored very easily and will always be fiddling with something.  But that is just who he is and I am so in love with.

Tsu has taught me more about ground work, show jumping, horse care and responsibility than anything else in this last year.

Thank you Madison and Tsu.

We at Thoroughbred Events Australia and The Thoroughbred Club congratulate you on the success of your OTTB and wish you all the success in the world.  We love that you are caring for our beloved race horse.