Becoming a trick rider as a teen fuelled Bridie’s love of horses, which she has turned into a successful career running Strawberry Hill Stud.
The Farm Manager
Bridie Sparks grew up in the country loving animals and horses, but it was the time she spent as a trick rider through her teenage years that honed her skills with horses. Through hard work, determination and passion, she became one of the youngest thoroughbred farm managers in NSW when taking on the management of Strawberry Hill Stud for John Singleton. Bridie shares with us her incredible love for the thoroughbred racing industry.
A few lessons in resilience from saddle-bronc riding has guided Julian Blaxland to a successful career as a Bloodstock Agent.
After failing three of his first four university papers, Julian Blaxland decided to get a job on a horse farm. He enjoyed it and when a junior role at sales company Magic Millions came up, he embraced the opportunity. It took a punt by an industry leader, a smart filly, a jumper and top 2YO colt to get Bluesky Bloodstock rolling, and a decade on, Julian still can’t believe how life has panned out.
Hard work and loyalty led to Adrian Bott entering a training partnership with Hall of Fame trainer Gai Waterhouse in 2016
Adrian Bott had always dreamt of a career in horse racing. After working as a cadet steward for Racing NSW, he was afforded a place on the life-changing Godolphin Flying Start Scholarship. For two years he traveled the world, studying and networking, before returning back to Australia and turning up at Gai Waterhouse Racing. While there was no initial job for Adrian, he rolled up his sleeves and with a ‘can-do’ attitude, embraced all before him – leading to the opportunity of a career.
"You can either backpack around the world, or you can literally fly with the horses!" - and to an exceptional television career like Lizzie Jelfs
Lizzie Jelfs’ role with a major Melbourne racing stable allowed her to travel with horses all around the world, before coming back to Australia to pursue a career in front of a television camera. Having not grown up in a racing family, Lizzie’s parents were initially hesitant at her industry choice. But hard work and determination has allowed her passion, talent and deep love of the horse to combine for an exceptional career.
Discovering the “big bucks” flowing for yearlings at a horse sale encouraged future auctioneer Clint Donovan to investigate the bloodstock industry.
Growing up in the bush on the back of a horse, young Clint Donovan was attracted to following Champion Aussie racehorses as a young lad. After discovering he was a fairly handy auctioneer, a progressive career at Magic Millions led him into a senior role as Bloodstock Manager. Clint advocates not taking life too seriously, but his passion, diligence and sense of humour has put his career on the fast track to success.
A fascination with the biomechanics of the thoroughbred racehorse drew Edwina Palmer into a career as a veterinarian.
Edwina Palmer always had a deep appreciation for the horse. After trying out a variety of roles in polo and other horse sports, a continual pull toward the veterinary field eventually convinced her it was time to go back to the books. It’s being involved in all areas of a horse life cycle that Edwina loves most about her career, and despite all challenges – the job satisfaction is incomparable.