The Cadets had an exciting week last week when getting to do everything from taking horses to the track to talking with Hugh Bowman. Ethan Pincott takes us through a few of the activities the non-riders in this Week 3 Cadet blog.
At the start of this week, as one of the non-riders in the Explorer Cadetship Program, my new skills and knowledge were put into practice. I was asked to properly and efficiently groom horses and tack them up in their racing gear before they were to be ridden.
As the week progressed, the other non-riders and myself were led through our ‘Horse Handling’, ‘Providing First Aid and Emergency Care’ and ‘Identifying Factors that Affect Race Horse Performance’ classes under the watchful eye of the distinguished trainer Joan Pracey.
Joan’s knowledge, skills, and experiences within this industry is worth its weight in gold and has us constantly picking her brain for as much information as we can get. These classes see us learning vital skills and knowledge in handling, caring, and training our horses in a manner which ensures the welfare and safety of both horse and handler are being met.
Another one of our classes, which is one of my favourite is ‘Prepare Mares for Parturition.’ The reason this is my favourite is that my desired career within the thoroughbred industry is to be an equine veterinarian, either working full time at a clinic, stud farm or racing stable. The class is taught by someone with a lot of experience in the field, Agnes Banks Equine Clinic Vet Nurse Sandy Wesselink, who is also a devoted Clydesdale breeder.
When Wednesday arrived, myself and the other non-riders, along with Tracy O’Hara and our Stable Manager Karen Pracey, helped prepare and load our four project horses (Duke, Charlie, Phil, and Elton), to take to Hawkesbury Racetrack. At the track we act as our assigned horse’s strapper for the morning (my horse is Duke), as well as timing and monitoring their trackwork. Later that day we also had the privilege of visiting the Hawkesbury site for Godolphin Racing with our Head Teacher Karlie Triffitt. During this visit we were taken on a tour and taught how feeds are prepared and catered for horses at a racing stable – a unique and rewarding experience.
As the week drew to a close, all the cadets were fortunate enough to attend the Rosehill Gardens Racecourse Barrier Trials with Lindy Maurice, Joan Pracey, and Daniel Power. This was followed by top jockey Hugh Bowman speaking to us about his life and career within the racing industry both in Australia and around the world.
I would like to thank Lindy Maurice, Karen Pracey, Joan Pracey, Daniel Power, Tracy O’Hara, Sandy Wesselink, Karlie Triffitt, Godolphin Racing, Hawkesbury Race Club, Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, and Hugh Bowman for such a rewarding week.