Tanita’s Big Step

Ladies in Racing - - Contents -

Tanita Vella grew up in New Zealand’s Cen­tral Hawkes Bay, on a sheep and beef farm with her par­ents and younger brother, de­vel­op­ing a great ap­pre­ci­a­tion and ad­mi­ra­tion for an­i­mals from an early age. “My Grand Pop used to back a few horses but my first real in­ter­ac­tion with a thor­ough­bred was by com­plete chance. I was look­ing to do some work over the Univer­sity’s sum­mer hol­i­days and a friend sug­gested we both go and do a year­ling prepa­ra­tion for Monty Hen­der­son’s Blue­gables Farm – we would just be ‘lead­ing horses’, which sounded easy enough. “It was a long three months, but I loved the work and af­ter com­plet­ing the 2009 Karaka Year­ling Sale, fol­lowed by an­other two year­ling prepa­ra­tions (Sam and Ca­tri­ona Wil­liams’ Lit­tle Avon­dale in 2010 and Bruce and Mau­reen Har­vey’s As­cot Farm in 2011), I had well and truly caught the thor­ough­bred bug.” “My work for Bruce and Mau­reen pro­vided a lot of di­ver­sity, as they also pre­pared two-year-olds for the breeze-up sale in Hong Kong, which was a great ex­pe­ri­ence to ob­serve this process. They were out­stand­ing men­tors, tak­ing the time to ex­plain each stage of a horse’s prepa­ra­tion, and how they re­sponded to dif­fer­ent meth­ods of care and han­dling. “Be­ing a small fam­ily-owned busi­ness they were both ex­tremely hands on around the barn and an­i­mals, which I came to dis­cover is not un­com­mon in the Thor­ough­bred In­dus­try, even in com­pa­nies as large as Inglis. “Bruce en­cour­aged us to sing a song while we were walk­ing horses each day, which en­sured they were al­ways re­laxed, and the there was a won­der­ful at­mos­phere around the barn. Tanita’s foray into the ad­min­is­tra­tive side of the Thor­ough­bred In­dus­try came in her last year of her Bach­e­lor of Com­merce (Mar­ket­ing and Hu­man Re­sources) de­gree in 2011, af­ter learn­ing about the Inglis Blood­stock In­tern­ship. “I re­mem­ber sit­ting in the com­puter lab­o­ra­tory work­ing on an as­sign­ment, but look­ing on Breed­net, the NZTM web­site and the Inglis web­site, when I read about the in­tern­ship,” “Un­for­tu­nately I missed out but re­ceived a phone call six weeks later with an of­fer of an ad­min­is­tra­tion po­si­tion with Inglis. I was in­ter­viewed in Oc­to­ber and I be­gan work for Inglis in Novem­ber, af­ter sit­ting my fi­nal exam. “Look­ing back at my four years at Inglis, I have learnt a great deal. Ini­tially I was do­ing ba­sic data en­try, phon­ing re­turned mail and bounce back

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