Dylan Parrott grew up loving racing but didn’t have an extensive hands-on background with horses. He applied for the 2022 Explorer Program to get the practical experience and industry knowledge he needed to fulfil his dream of becoming a jockey one day, and after 6 months he is well on his way.
● What is your background with horses and particularly Thoroughbreds?
I don’t have much of a background with horses, my family have never owned horses. I grew up riding friends’ horses on the odd occasion. When I was younger, we had two small shares in horses which was great fun and that definitely influenced me to want to become a jockey.
● Before coming into the Explorer Program, could you ride a horse?
Yes, I could ride but didn’t have a lot of experience riding.
● What are you passionate about within the industry? What made you sign up for the Explorer Cadetship Program?
I have always been passionate about being a jockey. I signed up for the Explorer program to help me learn the basics of the racing industry and also help get me going with work.
● What is your current role like? What about it makes you want to get up in the morning?
I am currently riding track work and going through the process of getting my amateur jockey license. Knowing that I get to ride racehorses which has always been a dream of mine makes it easy to get up in the morning.
● What does an average week look like for you?
I work Monday to Saturday riding track work riding 8-12 horses a morning. Then go back in the afternoon and do the necessary groundwork that needs to be done. I have 1-2 afternoons off per week.
● How has the industry changed since you started?
One of the main changes I’ve noticed is the increase in prizemoney, but also the addition to the highway race in Sydney which allows the country horses to show their worth at a Saturday metro meeting.
● What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
The biggest factor would be being part of a successful team and being around people that have the same interests as me, and riding with jockeys that have been in the game for many years that are able to provide me with tips on improving.
● Who is your favourite horse and why?
He is no Group horse, but my favourite horse must be Noble Solider. I do all his gallops of a morning and have been lucky enough to strap 5 out of his 7 wins and have gotten him ready to win at multiple Saturday Sydney metro meetings.
● What is a part of your job people wouldn’t expect?
I believe the preparation of a horse. A lot of people don’t see how much work goes into getting the horses ready and fit enough to run in races.
● What advice would you give to an aspiring person wanting to work in the racing & breeding industry?
Give it ago! It’s a great industry to be a part of and you will never stop learning new things. Always be willing to listen and learn from industry experts and show that you are dedicated, and you will definitely go a long way in the industry
● What benefits has the Explorer Program given you?
The explorer program helped get me up and going in the racing industry. Before the program, I had minimal knowledge of horse handling skills but after just 3 months I was confident in my knowledge and handling skills going into work at a stable.