Belinda’s Stepping Stones
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.
IMMERSED IN THE THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY, AND ONLY 26, MARCUS OLDHAM EQUINE MANAGEMENT GRADUATE, BELINDA HOWARD, HAS GATHERED VALUABLE EXPERIENCE WITHIN AUSTRALIA
AND INTERNATIONALLY IN THE SHOWJUMPING INDUSTRY.