Belinda’s Step­ping Stones

Ladies in Racing - - Contents -

By her fi­nal year of school, Belinda was on the NSW Ju­nior Showjump­ing Squad and spend­ing ev­ery week­end at a dif­fer­ent com­pe­ti­tion with her two horses. She was also rid­ing track­work be­fore school for a lead­ing Syd­ney trainer. Ap­proach­ing the end of sec­ondary school, Belinda searched for a course that would lead to a ca­reer in the equine in­dus­try and dis­cov­ered the one-year equine man­age­ment course at Mar­cus Old­ham Col­lege at Geelong. “I ap­plied for en­try, won the $15,000 Aus­tralian Thor­ough­bred Schol­ar­ship and un­der­took a year of study that cov­ered all aspects of equine and busi­ness skills and pro­vided a great plat­form from which to launch my ca­reer,” she said. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, Belinda’s drive for showjump­ing and travel was strong and she achieved valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence at a large Ger­man showjump­ing sta­ble, fol­lowed by op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­fine her rid­ing style in Por­tu­gal and Eng­land. Al­though this was won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence on so many lev­els, Belinda felt the pull to the high speed and high stakes of the rac­ing in­dus­try and re­turned to Aus­tralia. “I joined the year­ling prepa­ra­tion team at Vin­ery Stud and also as­sisted in the breed­ing sea­son as the re­lief foal watch at­ten­dant. A high­light of my time there was pre­par­ing a very pro­fes­sional year­ling which went on to be named At­lantic Jewel and is a Group One win­ner,” she said, with a hint of pride. Al­though Belinda en­joyed work­ing hands-on with the horses, an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self. Breed­ing & Rac­ing Mag­a­zine ad­ver­tised for a ‘re­cent grad­u­ate of a Thor­ough­bred course’ as an edi­to­rial pro­duc­tion as­sis­tant, which pro­vided a foot in the door to hone her ad­min­is­tra­tion and writ­ing skills. The po­si­tion grad­u­ally grew in work­load and re­spon­si­bil­ity and she was al­lo­cated ar­ti­cles to write for ev­ery edi­tion as well as many stal­lion and year­ling pro­files for the ad­ver­tis­ers. Hav­ing met many par­tic­i­pants and gain­ing an in­sight into some of the most im­por­tant ar­eas of the rac­ing in­dus­try via the re­search for her ar­ti­cles, Belinda be­gan to get a grasp on the work­ings of the rac­ing in­dus­try. She was in­tro­duced to the di­rec­tor of Syd­ney race­horse syn­di­ca­tion com­pany, Cham­pion Thor­ough­breds. Look­ing for some­one to front the busi­ness as Rac­ing Man­ager he in­vited Belinda to join the team. It was an en­tirely new area and a steep learn­ing curve. Belinda re­mained at Cham­pion Thor­ough­breds for over 2.5 years be­fore tak­ing a break from the in­dus­try. The pull to re­turn to rac­ing was ex­cep­tion­ally strong and when Belinda re­ceived a call from brothers Michael and Chris Ward of lead­ing Syd­ney syn­di­ca­tor Triple Crown with an op­por­tu­nity to re-en­ter, the deal was vir­tu­ally done. Triple Crown has around 40 race horses and ap­prox­i­mately 400 own­ers as well as a newly formed, ex­clu­sive part­ner­ship with Rand­wick train­ing team Peter and Paul Snow­den, which has proven a big coup. They are look­ing to ex­pand sig­nif­i­cantly in 2016 so their late 2015 ac­qui­si­tion of Belinda as Rac­ing Man­ager has come at an op­por­tune time. Con­tin­u­ing with the clas­sic Rac­ing Man­ager du­ties, Belinda also brings a wealth of knowl­edge and qual­i­fi­ca­tion in re­gards to tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances and dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ca­tion av­enues, skills which have al­ready proven a valu­able as­set to the busi­ness. Belinda hap­pily says that the Mar­cus Old­ham Equine Man­age­ment course was a very im­por­tant ‘step­ping stone’ in her ca­reer path, and then it was up to her to take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties and work as hard and as smartly as pos­si­ble.



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