When is the best season for casual work?

If you’re looking for casual work in the Thoroughbred industry, sales season is your best bet. The majority of Thoroughbred sales in Australasia take place in January to June with yearling preparation starting around October.

Farms are often looking for people to help prepare their horses for sales starting in the spring and while it is advised that you have at least some experience with horses, you will learn a lot on the job.

Sales preparations start about 10 weeks before a horse heads to the sale and you will be expected to do a variety of tasks. Normal farm tasks such as mucking stalls, feeding, rugging horses, and helping with treatments will be part of your day in addition to hand walking horses, putting them on the walker, grooming them, and bathing them. Days often start at 6 or 7 in the morning and will end at 4 p.m. after horses are put away for the evening.

If you’ve never paraded a horse before, you will learn during this period with most farms having parades for potential buyers at least a few times a week before the horses ship to the sales. Time for these parades are usually built into your daily schedule and are useful for both yearlings and grooms to learn how to parade properly for buyers.

The sale season starts with yearlings before breeding stock take their turn in the ring. Every January, the racing industry heads to Queensland for the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale with horses shipping in nearly a week before the starts for buyers to inspect. Your day will start a tad earlier than it does on the farm with horses needing to be fed and exercised and boxes mucked out before inspections start at 8 a.m. with the last inspections taking place around 4:30 p.m.

While a lot of the people who work the sales are those who have prepared the horses before they head to the sales grounds, farms often look for a few people to help at the sale. This help can range from only a few days to the whole sale depending on how many horses the consignment has in and how much help they need.

A few weeks after the Magic Millions sale, Inglis’ sales start up in Sydney for the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in mid-February before moving to its Melbourne complex for the Melbourne Premier sale. The final major sale of the yearling season is the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

The Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and Inglis Easter Yearling sale are often where you will find the majority of the extremely well-bred and expensive horses, with multiple seven-figure horses selling throughout the weeks.

If you can’t work during the yearling season,  there are also breeding stock sales where weanlings and broodmares sell. These sales follow a similar route with Inglis holding a breeding stock sale right after their Easter sale to kick off the change in sale season.

Much like the yearling season, Magic Millions will hold a sale up at the Gold Coast and Inglis will also hold a Melbourne sale. This season will also see a few yearlings going through the ring with Magic Millions holding a late season yearling sale in June.

If you aren’t located in New South Wales or Melbourne and don’t want to travel to those locations, Magic Millions also holds sales throughout the year in Western Australia, Tasmania, and South Australia.

You can find many of the sale jobs listed in the Current Vacancies location on our site or on dedicated pages looking for workers on Facebook pages. If you can’t find what you are looking for in those locations, contacting farms and consignors can help you land a job both on the farm and at sales.