Insight into an Explorer Cadets journey

As my first placement has come to an end, I honestly feel like I'm progressing well, which is amazing to see. It’s funny to think that in a little over seven months I've gone from working in a hospitality job to currently working at one of the premier stud farms in Australia. 

My journey on the Cadetship started with an advertisement that had come across my Facebook newsfeed of all places. As the skeptic that I was. I decided to apply and in all honesty at the time I thought it was too good to be true. Looking back now, it was a great surprise how too good to be true is possible.

Recapping on my experiences at the initial bootcamp I really enjoyed it. There was such a good mix of both practical and theoretical elements that made the program so unique. The teachers and staff at TAFE were absolutely amazing and had such a remarkable commitment to making everything we learned so engaging. I can honestly say that there are very few educational institutions that I have come across that have been able to successfully do this as they did.

That to me made all the difference because that passion in learning is essential for success.

For my stud placement, I'm working at Newgate Farm, just outside of Scone. Throughout my stay I have been part of the yearling preparation team and have been a part four preparation groups of yearlings. Yearling prep is managed by Keelan Dempsey who, along with the other staff, have shown and taught me a great deal about the thoroughbred industry to which I am so grateful for. 

What I've enjoyed most about working at Newgate Farm is first and foremost the people and the horses, I enjoy getting up early each morning to bring them into the barn along with the team to work them. I have also enjoyed working alongside the veterinarians, which is also an area that I may potentially like to look at going into in the future. It has also been interesting working alongside the farriers and specialist that come through the farm regularly and parading the wonderful yearlings the team and I have been helping to prepare for the upcoming sales.

My next step in the program is progressing onto a racing stable placement at Chris Waller Racing in Melbourne, which is based at Flemington racecourse. I am very excited to move down to Melbourne, but at the same time will miss being at Newgate Farm. 

While I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve worked with, the horses themselves have taught me a few lessons over the past several months. 

These lessons include consistency and the ability to stay calm in any situation even if things look like they are seemingly getting tougher.  They may look like they’re too much to handle but they are not, you can keep going and push forward. I’ve enjoyed this journey so far and am looking forward to getting home to see the family for a week. 

I can’t wait to give everyone updates as I progress through the program, it’s been a great journey thus far.


Samuel Hayward