Today we talk to Trackside TV presenter Emily Murphy about how she got into racing and what a day in her life entails.
When I was growing up, I loved horses and competed in show jumping. I lived next door to a racing stable in England and I was hooked after getting to see the daily activity that goes on.
Before I was a presenter, I was a strapper in New Zealand. The most famous horse I strapped was champion Dundeel, who provided me with some of the most exciting and rewarding days of my life. Working and travelling with him changed everything for me. He opened up so many doors for me not only to grow my knowledge of the sport but boost my profile.
My boss Murray Baker was a massive part of the attention I received as well. If he hadn’t trusted me with the responsibility of taking care of a horse like Dundeel and pushing me forward for media opportunities, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I had no idea all that attention would lead to me becoming a presenter, my love was always for the horse. I knew Dundeel would open up opportunities for me but even at that point I didn’t know what they might be, I was happy to let that part fall into place. I enjoyed acting at school and did quite a bit of public speaking so that definitely helped.
I received really good and thorough training at Trackside when I started, so although it was a sudden change, it was well controlled. A slow start with plenty of training meant I was comfortable and feeling confident. The racing knowledge and connections established through that hands on work in the industry have been so valuable.
Now that I am a presenter I am more of my own boss, so I have to be very motivated with my form and study. If I don’t do the work and am not prepared then I can get exposed very quickly. I probably found I was under more pressure strapping, I had a lot of responsibility looking after a multi-million dollar horse, I couldn’t make a mistake or miss anything.
But while the job of being a strapper comes with a lot of routine, being a presenter is the opposite. There is a lot of variety which is great, the day to day studio shifts are a great starting point for learning. For a premier day on course, I spend a big portion of the day before preparing, watching replays and checking out the form. Race day is quite straight forward, once you say hello at the start of the day, things roll really quickly and the day flies by.
If you’d like to become a television presenter, knowledge and love for the industry is so important.
In my experience, the television host part can be learnt with hard work and confidence. If perhaps being a television host is not for you then don’t forget there are loads of other options in the media from production, camera operators, sound engineers and graphic operators to name just a few!
Something to consider when getting into racing is that it is addictive! It can take you anywhere in world and there are so many different avenues you can explore outside of riding, training and owning horses. Work hard and don’t be afraid to be vocal about your aspirations.