Thoroughbred Club Thursday – 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.

Thoroughbred Club Thursday – 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.

Thoroughbred Club Thursday – 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.

Thoroughbred Club Thursday – 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.

Thoroughbred Club Thursday – Bear

Meet owner Emily Cox and her horse, Bear (race name Bearskin)

Emily & Bear

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

Bearskin was an August 2011 Real Saga Colt out of Devil Inside. Foaled at Glenlogan Park Stud and named after the Bearskin hats worn by the Queens Guards he was always destined for greatness. Purchased for $280,000 at the 2012 Magic Millions Yearling Sales by $116,000 in prize money upon retirement in July 2017. Gollan Racing and syndicate Bear was supposed to be the next big thing. But, luck was never on his side in racing, whether it be the wrong jockey, to soft or to hard a track or just Bear’s typical ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude it was not his destiny. All 17hh of Bear had 3 wins from 18 starts totalling.

Emily’s story on how she came to own Bearskin:

Funnily enough I wasn’t even looking for an OTT, or a Throughbred. I had an advanced dressage WB who I retired from competition and decided my heart lied in the Show Ring. I was looking for something seasoned and after about 6 months was in no luck. Jane Gollan (Gollan Racing) re-homes many OTT from QLD and often, the very pretty ones to friend of mine. When Jane sent them a photo of Bear, she knew he would be a future Hunter Hack, they didn’t want him as they preferred the open horses. Knowing how little success I was having, my friends passed Jane on to me and I took Bear on as a fun project until I found something. It’s turns out Bear has a destiny in the show ring, and boy does he know how to put on a show.

What discipline does Bearskin now excel:


Personal story about Bearskin:

The first show I ever took Bear to, one of the biggest shows for young horses was the SHC Newcomer Horse of the Year in July 2018. He had not put a foot wrong all morning riding around the grounds before the class. He wasn’t naughty, just had plenty left in the tank and just as he was finally settling down, relaxing and working as he did at home the announcer comes over the loudspeaker and says “Good Morning Competitors, What a wonderful morning…..” and Bear launches himself 5 metres in front, full gallop and all I could do was get up into two-point and let him burn himself off again. I honestly had my stomach in my chest and said to my coach as he calmed down again, thank god I never had to ride him on the track, I’ve honestly never ridden anything so fast. But, turns out it was for the best as in his first class, at his first outing since the race track, Bear won Champion Newcomer Hunter Hack over 16hh and as they say, the rest is history. (The photo below is of Bear at his first show)

Thank you Emily

We at Thoroughbred Events Australia and The Thoroughbred Club wish you all the success in the world.

Winning Wednesday – Day 1 Autumn Carnival

The sun was shining on the 17th March 2018 as crowds flooded into Rosehill Racecourse for the start of the Autumn carnival. Within just a few furlongs of the entrance we were greeted with the Golden Slipper trophy itself and were asked if we would like a photo with it- of course the answer was YES!!

Directly opposite from the glistening Golden Slipper trophy stood the Harrods Fashion Chute, where anyone and everyone could become a model! The wonderful staff directed and encouraged you to strut your stuff and release your inner Jennifer Hawkins as the pro photographer snapped and clicked away, capturing the ultimate shot. You were then invited over to a laptop where you chose your favourite image and were able to send it to yourself- for free might I add! You may think that was the best part, but the first thirty ladies or gents that had their photo taken that day received a stunning hand drawn image by the extremely talented Steph Baynie. Her drawings oozed elegance and style, although you don’t need us to tell you this, the proof is in the pudding![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_masonry_media_grid style=”lazy” items_per_page=”3″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1522131993098-cdba5b6cd94e9d4145f9c4bbc9ec5c10-2″ include=”5024,5030,5028″][vc_column_text]Just next door to the Harrods Fashion Chute were stylists from TONI&GUY and ghd hard at work making their clients hair so beautiful that even Rapunzel would of been jealous. With tables decorated with flowers, magazines and nibbles, this really was a little luxurious corner for all those to enjoy.

In between testing out the coffee that the members cafe had to offer (10/10 from us) and nibbling on street food until our bellies nearly burst, we managed to bump into some wonderful people showcasing some unique and beautiful outfits.

For us, one of the most pleasurable things about going racing is experiencing others expressing themselves through their choice of outfit and witnessing so many different styles. Two individuals that caught our eye were Andrew Wilkinson and Meri Dimovski. Both different individuals with polar opposite styles that we LOVED.

Andrew wore a light blue handmade suit covered in a racehorse print that was completed with a golden Melbourne cup pin badge. He had his suit custom made especially for the Melbourne cup and insisted it had a few more outings left in it- which of course, we agreed with!

The extremely beautiful Meri opted for millinery designed by herself (I know, not only is she beautiful but she’s talented too!), teamed with a pretty pleated number from Country Road, some pillar box red heels by Tony Bienco and a matching red Alga Berg clutch bag.


As the day drew to a close, bottles of champagne were finished and ladies removed high heels from their throbbing feet while linking their lovers arms, we reflected on what a wonderful day it had been and how it had truly set the standard and feel for the rest of the Autumn carnival.   Let us not forget the incredible horse flesh.  So many great races and there is plenty more Group 1s to come over the coming weeks.

If you enjoyed reading this piece please do check out our short vlog of our day at Rosehill and be sure to watch until the end for the bloopers!


Words by Kiersten Duke
Photos by Nancy Ashcroft

Racing to Protect & Serve- NSW Mounted Police Unit

The racing life of a Thoroughbred Race Horse varies on a number of factors but mostly comes down to their willingness to want to continue racing. Others reach an age where they simply just have had enough and yearn for a green paddock. Others can happily race on until they reach 12 years of age, which is when they must be retired officially from racing.

Most people often ask what happens to a race horse once it has been retired from racing, there is no generic response to this question as there are a number of options that await an Off The Track Thoroughbred. Some of these options are Showing, Equestrian Events (Show Jumping, Dressage, Cross Country), trail riding, barrel racing and so on. But for a special select few a much more important career awaits!

When you think of Police, the first thoughts that come to mind could include Cops (the American TV show), Bad Boys (the theme song to Cops) and usually means that you are running away from them (maybe because you were checking your phone while driving). One area of the Police Force that seems to be a favourite is the Mounted Police, we all seem to love seeing Police Horses either on the streets or at various events.

So what do race horses and the Police force have in common? For those special few that meet the select criteria and pass their trial period, they go from race track to patrolling the streets, protecting and serving.

On Sunday 26th November, the NSW Mounted Police Unit opened up the gates and invited the general public in for the opportunity to get up close and personal with the troop horses and to get an understanding in the life of a Police Horse.  Our Journo went along in search of Thoroughbreds that have become Police Horses and as proceeds from the day went to Camp Quality, it was hard to go past the NSW Mounted Police Unit Open Day for our Winning Wednesday.

History of the NSW Mounted Police

Established on 7th September 1825 by Governor Brisbane makes it the oldest continuous operation not only in Australia but globally. In 1830 the unit was first located at Belmore Barracks and three country divisions in Bathurst, Goulburn and Maitland. It was not until March 1862 the NSW Police Force was formed.

The unit moved to the current location in Bourke Street in 1907 and has since undergone redevelopment to include top class facilities that allows the police to continuously train the officers (both human and horse) for a life keeping our streets safe. Today the unit comprises of around 36 officers and 31 horses, with 85{fddcb93768ef9c7fdbaa8f7e3070a154b0816ccbd68b1bd9684c02e142c32ffe} being female officers.

Duties of the Mounted Police Unit

Police Horses are used for various occasions and events these range from:

  • Mounted patrols through streets
  • Crowd Management
  • Operational Support
  • Search for missing persons, escapees and some cases searching for evidence.
  • Ceremonial & Parades
  • Musical Rides (if you attend the Easter Show you will be familiar with this demonstration, if not click here to watch

Selection Criteria

Not every horse can become a Police Horse, there is a set criteria that must be met even before the horse will be taken on trial. Should a horse meet the criteria then it is placed on a 3 month trial before being accepted into the force. Here is a look at some of the criteria:


  • The horse must stand 16 hands or above
  • Usually between the ages of 4 and 10 years of age
  • Geldings are preferred however, not mandatory
  • Must be Bay, Brown or Black in colour (this is a tradition that dates back to the 1800’s and has been kept by the unit)
  • Must pass tests on soundness, temperament, trainability and stable handling

Fun Facts about Police Horses

  • A variety of breeds are chosen from, there is not one preferred breed
  • Up to 10 horses can be trialled before being accepted
  • Training may take up to 2 years to complete
  • The horses will have a stable name and a troop horse name
  • Once retired, appropriate homes are found (horses are usually listed in Horse Deals Magazine)

Mounted Police Officers

Just like the horses, the officers must also demonstrate their suitability to be accepted into the Mounted Unit.

So what does it take to be able to wear the blue uniform on the back of a Police Horse?

  • Officers must complete 3 years of general duties at a Local Area Command (LAC) before applying
  •  Pass well-founded medical, physical and written examinations
  • Trained in horse care and saddlery, riding, equitation and lance drills, general duties, arrest procedures, issuing traffic infringements, random breath testing, navigation and search skills.
  • Must train their primary horse while still assisting with others (eventually officers are assigned to one primary horse in which they will be responsible for)
  • Horses must be exercised twice a day

Potential new officers must also undertake a 2 week assessment testing phase which results in the final day with tests under saddle, bareback and jumping. If accepted into the unit, they are subjected to a further 3-4 month course before they can be operational within the unit. Including the mandatory qualifications that officers must have, the mounted unit are required to also hold a Medium Rigid Truck Licence, Equestrian Australian Qualifications (Introductory Riding & Horse Management).

When not out on patrol or other assignments, the officers are responsible for other “fatigue” duties which can include stable maintenance, attending to saddlery, training (troop drill, crowd control, escort duties etc). Must also be possess detailed veterinary knowledge, farrier procedures, rug & tack maintenance and horse transportation.

Mounted Police Thoroughbreds

Walking around the stables in the complex, it was clear that there is definitely a mixture of breeds within the Troop Horses. These ranged from the gorgeous big Clydesdale, Percheron, Stock Horses and of course our favourite the Thoroughbred. Let’s get to know a little about the Thoroughbreds that were found in the stables.


It was hard not to mistake this big boy as a Thoroughbred, as soon as you walk into the first stable complex you are greeted with a towering bay gelding that stands at an imposing 16.2 hands.

Valinorean (Exceed and Excel x Eldarin) is an unraced Thoroughbred bred by the largest operation in the world Godolphin, related to champion Grand Armee. For those not familiar, Godolphin is the racing and breeding operation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. His passion and dedication for horses is admired by many in the racing game (to read more click here).

Not cutting it as a Race horse, Valinorean was donated by Godolphin to the NSW Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Trust (TRT). This organisation is part of Racing NSW and is headed by ex mounted police officer Scott Brodie. TRT is a not for profit organisation that takes retired race horses and retrains them for a life after racing. With Scott’s experience having worked in the force, he is aware of what is required for horses to make the grade to be accepted into the Mounted Police Unit, as a result of his potential this big guy is currently on trial, all reports are that he is doing well.

Take a look at some of his training with Scott Brodie here 

Warrigal (Stable Name: Halo)

Another bay thoroughbred gelding standing at an imposing 16.3 hands and weighing over 600kgs he is considered to be one of the best horses in the unit. Warrigal joined the force in 2003 and during his time has performed in front of 80,000 people in the 2005 & 2010 Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Hollywood (Stable Name: Ardy)

This horse comes from racing royalty, his father is none other that champion race horse Octagonal who had won more than $5 million dollars and won the hearts of many people during his race career. Hollywood joined the unit in 2009 and plays a special role within the force in that he is always the first choice for the Commander to ride when attending parades or events.



Other horses that are part Thoroughbred

Beersheeba (Stable Name: Regal)- Warmblood x Thoroughbred, named to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of “The Battle of Beersheeba”

Angus  (Stable Name: Coby)- Percheron x Thoroughbred, related to Ras and Jackson.



Ismo (Stable Name: Vegemite) – Clydesdale x Thoroughbred, stands at 16.3 hands and joined the force in early 2000




So if you ever do wonder where some retired race horses go, just remember the next time that you see the Mounted Police at an event, beach or patrolling the streets, you just never know you may be standing next to an ex champion that has found a life after racing, protecting and serving!

Thoroughbred Events Australia would like to thank the NSW Mounted Police Unit for opening up their gates to give as an insight into the life of a Police Horse but for also giving retired racehorses a life after racing. It was great to see a large crowd turn out and help support Camp Quality.


Article and photos by Kylie Johnson



2017 Goulburn Racing Club – It Certainly was Girls Day Out – 11 November

I had a blast hosting Girls Day Out – NJB Racing Fashions on the Field. The staff at the club run a fantastic meeting and the Spring fashion was outstanding. The Goulburn country girls certainly love to dress appropriately for the races – there was so much effort put into coordinating their outfits from head-to-toe.

It was great to launch the first Hooves, Heels & Hats where by there was a category for the best spring heels.

Well done girls.


2017 Winning Wednesday- The Promotor becomes The Promoted- Sarah Baglee

Ask anyone in Australia to name some Race Tracks or Jockey Clubs that they know of and many will likely say Royal Randwick, Rosehill Gardens, Flemington (being home to our most iconic race), Caulfield- others that may get a mention include Mooney Valley, Warwick Farm, Doomben along with Australian Turf Club (ATC) and any Jockey Clubs they are familiar with. More times than most you will find that most of the tracks people talk about are what we in the racing world refer to as Metropolitan.

Australia is a nation that is enriched with a long history of Horse Racing, we are also a nation where our love of racing is rewarded in the fact that there is never a day in the country where there is not a horse racing meeting on. New South Wales is no different, while on Saturdays our eyes are usually cast on Royal Randwick or Rosehill Gardens in the Metropolitan category, Provincial race meetings sometimes running alongside these meets would include Newcastle or even Gosford (both on the Central Coast of NSW).

More often than not, people forget that we also have some quality racing meets that occur at country and Picnic tracks. These are the race meets that take you a while to get to as they are usually held in the smallest of towns, while the crowd may lack in numbers that the larger counterparts attract, they still definitely offer a lot of fun for those that do attend, usually a great day out for the family- kids included!

Situated 451 km North West of Sydney and approximately a 6 hour drive, between the Central West and North West slopes nestles a small country town that at census in 2011 had a population of 3,174- is a town that most people struggle to say the name or even spell it, Coonabarabran or to the locals simply referred to as Coona.

On Monday 23rd October, this small town came alight and no we don’t mean it was set on fire, well it was in other ways that did not require matches. It was a long weekend for the town folk as it was the running of their annual Coona Cup.

A day attended by many and lots of activities on track for people of all ages. While it may not be as big as The Everest or the Melbourne Cup, this day is one where locals can get dressed up and enjoy local racing at its best, celebrating with those who have made the long drive to be part of the action.

Events like this regardless of size require a lot of coordination to put the event together to ensure that the crowd enjoys themselves but mainly are catered for in their every needs on the day. While the much smaller clubs may not have the support of the bigger organisations, it is usually a team of hard working individuals that come together to make days like this a success.

Coonabarabran Jockey Club is no different, behind the fun and excitement of the day is a team of very hard working people who strive to make the event a success. One of the key parts in an events success is marketing the day or drawing in the crowd. Our Winning Wednesday interviewee is tasked with being the Publicity Officer, therefore her main responsibility is telling people about this event and getting the crowds in the gates.

Fair to say that Monday was a success as evident by the photos that have been shared on Social Media Platforms, this success belongs to none other than Sarah Baglee.

Sarah, thank you for giving us some of your time and especially after a successful on Monday. Firstly, Congratulations on what looked to be a great day!

Now let’s get to know you!!

Who is Sarah Baglee? Tell us about yourself.

I live on a small farm just out the rural township of Coonabarabran.

I am 46,  wife of 25 years to Clinton and mother to Alex ( 23)and Madalyn (19).Both of my children are in the Australian Defence Force which makes me very proud. I am also Grammie to our granddaughter Arianna .I work full time as a Hospital assistant. I also write a weekly column for our local paper.

How did you get involved in racing/how did you get the bug for racing?

My Nan lived on Todman Ave in Kensington and every holidays my parent would send me down to the big smoke to stay with nan, every morning I would wake up to the click clack of hooves on the tar which was TJ Smiths horses heading to track work! I would open the window and lean out to catch a glimpse of the majestic beast, the jockeys would wave and I would feel so special.

My father also had around 20-25 mares for breeding and was involved in the Jockey Club at Baradine (small town 500people) so we were dragged along and soon fell in love with it. Nothing is more peaceful than brushing a horse, the smell of them gives me instant peace

Do you own any race horses (shares or out right), tell us about your horses

I am in  shares with a beautiful grey filly called Cinderconi. Thanks to Sharon Lenton who I met at Racing NSW awards night a few years ago and said “let’s do something together” as I was impressed with her passion for horse racing too. She has had 1 win which I was so lucky to be there to witness.

Do you have a special routine that you go through when your horses are racing?

I don’t do anything special, just get ready to enjoy the day if going to the track or find somewhere quiet to watch.

How did you celebrate Cinderconi’s win?

Our 1st and only win I drove 4& 1/2 hours to watch and had on this terrible dress I bought at daggy Big W with a $20 hat and now it in the photo on my wall, lol! That will teach me as next time I will be prepared and celebrated with a coffee and pastry from the bakery at Merriwa half way home… There was a lot of screaming because she paid 50/1 and I didn’t put money on her!!

Now you also have a very important role with your local race club, tell us about that?

I am the Publicity officer for Coonabarabran Jockey Club, I started there a few years ago now when there was one other women and no one under 65! So it was a big learning curve but now days it 1/2 women and young and old and all want to make Country Racing better .I am the person who handles all the social media, articles, FOTF, all radio interviews, EVERYTHING to promote our Jockey Club.

We have a fantastic committee, very forward moving .They embrace new ideas and are always looking at ways to improve the club! I came about as I can talk under water with mouth full of marbles! Seriously I love our club, no one else wanted to do it, I have worked in Radio so am familiar with public speaking and they created the position for me.

What is your favourite and least favourite thing about your role with the local race club?

Least favourite is SPONSORSHIP, I hate asking small business who are struggling for money to sponsor a race! To sponsor a race at Coonabarabran Cup it $1100 BUT there are junior soccer, basketball, kids swimming, pony club, Rescue helicopter all asking for help too and having been in a business I can see personally that yes I would have a hard time giving money to horse racing instead of Timmy or Sally new soccer nets etc.

My favourite thing is the people in my job I get to talk to the jockeys, owners, punters, Strappers and race goers. The girl that gets to stand on the stage for Fashions on the field (FOTF) and how her face beams with pride, that makes my day or when a jockey tells me that they love coming and thanks me for the yummy cake a committee member has especially made for them. The people I met who love coming to our town, getting up close to the horses and cheering them home down the straight, breathtaking! It’s amazing to watch a 53kg jockey have such control, to me they are legends.

The Coona cup was on Monday, tell us about the day…

Our big race meeting was on last Monday 23rd with a great crowd it made for an outstanding day. People travel from Sydney, the coast and outback just to experience the Coonabarabran Cup. Saturday kicks off the weekend with the dish lickers (greyhounds), then we hold the Yabbie races Sunday, Sunday afternoon we invited all visitors up to the track for a welcome BBQ and then Sunday night we host the Calcutta at the local watering hole, then of course it’s off to the races Monday!

We really encourage family and friends to make a day of it, hire a marquee, enjoy the jazz band and get up close and watch those beautiful horses. We have jumping castle for the children, champagne marquee for the ladies and men can enjoy a day on the punt. The crowds are lush and green and we have a fantastic photo marquee so you can have you photo taken to remember the day. We have Rotary, Girl Guides, local P&C running the bar and this is a major fundraisers for these community groups. Our FOTF is fantastic and we have Turf Prince and Princess through to Silver Selection lady & gent for the more mature and elegant race goer.

What would you say to someone who has never experienced the Coona Cup?

I would love to personally invite you all to our Coona Cup meeting, country racing is so important! We have so many amazing, talented trainers, Jockey and horses out here in the country and we would love you support all our country clubs.Coona Cup is about coming and making new friends, leave all your cares behind and have a great time.

How do you describe being involved in horse racing to others?

Horse racing is part of you, it becomes part of your life, if you want to dress up or just throw on a pair of jeans and boots, it’s the thrill of the ride, the people you meet, the joy it brings but also the sadness of death of a horse or jockey, it’s the roller coaster of life in one day.

Is there anything else you would like us to make mention of?

I just want to personally thank Thoroughbred Events Australia for giving me this opportunity and Sharon Lenton for getting me involved in the ownership of my very own horse.

Article by Kylie Johnson