Careers in the Hunter Valley Thoroughbred Breeding Industry

Start at the Top
Start at the Top
Images throughout this brochure courtesy Katrina Partridge Photography, 02 Georgie Lomax Photography & Melanie Sunderland
Images throughout this brochure courtesy Katrina Partridge Photography, 02  Georgie Lomax Photography   Melanie Sunderland...
The Hunter Valley is the world’s second largest centre for breeding of thoroughbred horses. Along with Kentucky in the USA and Newmarket in England, the Hunter Valley is a global centre of excellence and is recognised as an industry world leader. That is why when you commence a career in the Hunter’s Thoroughbred Breeding Industry, you’re starting your career at the top. Whether you start straight out of school or commence your career as a graduate or with previous experience in another industry, working in thoroughbred breeding will be rewarding, challenging and allow you to grow and achieve more than you think possible. It’s an international industry that affords you the opportunity to learn, grow, see the world and chose a path that’s right for you - whether that be on a farm, in the media, at the track or in an administrative role that runs one of the biggest industries in Australia. Facts Total Prize Money in 2011 $428,339,959 Total Spend at Bloodstock Auction Sales 2011 $307,043,773 Total Wagering of Thoroughbred Racing 2011 $14,387,790 Source: Australian Stud Book Thoroughbred Breeders Australia 03
The Hunter Valley is the world   s second largest centre for breeding of thoroughbred horses. Along with Kentucky in the U...
Size Matters Approximately 25,300 mares are covered by stallions in Australia every year, with over one third of these matings taking place on farms within the Hunter Valley. The Hunter Valley is renowned as the premier source of quality bloodstock in Australia and many of the horses that end up racing at the highest level (Group One status races) are born here every year. These quality horses often return to the Hunter Valley as stallions or broodmares on completion of their racing careers and shape the future of the racing industry. Average No. of all thoroughbred mares covered in Australia 2006 - 2010 (as a %) WA 0% SA 4% TAS 2% NT 0% Facts Average Number of foals born each year 2007 - 2011 16863 Over 100 stallions stood in the Hunter Valley in 2010. The Hunter Valley has been the home to the champion Sire of Australia for 17 of the last 20 years. These sires include the likes of Lonhro, Redoute’s Choice, Encosta de Lago and Flying Spur, all of whom were bred in the Hunter Valley. Source: Australian Stud Book 04
Size Matters Approximately 25,300 mares are covered by stallions in Australia every year, with over one third of these mat...
The Hunter Valley Stud & Broodmare Farms The Hunter is home to approximately 70 thoroughbred farms. This number is made up of large commercial farms (where stallions are used for serving mares) and small to medium size broodmare farms. Many stud and broodmare farms agist mares for clients throughout the year however the number of mares will increase significantly during the breeding season which begins on 1 September each year. Stud and broodmare farms are busy places all year round. Mares generally commence foaling from late July / early August each year. Whilst the day to day duties of looking after horses and general farming continues, there is the added responsibility of helping deliver the next generation of racehorses into the world. As the number of mares foaling down begins to slow from November onwards, much of the focus switches to the preparation of horses (particularly yearlings) for the commercial sales throughout Australia and New Zealand. Between January and June, major yearling sales are held on the Gold Coast as well as in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. There are also major sales of broodmares and weanlings during this time. The preparation of the horses for these sales tends to be an intense and exciting time on most farms and staff look forward to the opportunity to travel throughout Australia. The international nature of the industry is well demonstrated by ‘Shuttle’ stallions. These are stallions that travel from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere to serve mares each year. Around the New Year, many stallion grooms will accompany these stallions from Australia to the other side of the world for the Northern Hemisphere breeding season which commences on February 15th. Here they will spend about 5 months looking after stallions either in Europe, the USA or Japan. 05
The Hunter Valley Stud   Broodmare Farms The Hunter is home to approximately 70 thoroughbred farms. This number is made up...
Which Path Do I Choose? There are many and varied roles within the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeding Industry depending on your skills and qualifications. It is important to realise that the bloodstock industry is a vast one and irrespective of age, gender, experience or qualifications, there will be a role in the industry that best compliments your skill set or attributes. Whether you are straight out of secondary or tertiary education, or looking for a career change later in life, the Hunter Valley Breeding Industry presents a huge variety of interesting, exciting and challenging opportunities. The following will give you a snapshot of what’s involved and may help steer you in the right direction. 06
Which Path Do I Choose  There are many and varied roles within the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeding Industry depending on your...
Stud Groom A stud groom is fundamental to the day to day running and operation of any stud farm and it is a role that allows you to develop an almost comprehensive understanding of the practical aspects of running any stud farm. Stud grooms are the backbone of the farm, ensuring the day to day care of the horses and farm is to the highest standards. Developing an understanding of the day to day workings of a stud farm will give you the greatest grounding you could receive for a career in the Thoroughbred Breeding Industry and will provide you with much of the knowledge that you will need to one day manage a large commercial thoroughbred farm or your own business. The foundations of a good racehorse are established during it’s youth and experiencing life on a stud farm can help you to understand and experience the fundamental aspects of breeding a quality horse. It can also lead to other roles within the industry and is a great way to gauge where your career may head in the future. The role of the Stud Groom may include:            Feeding and grooming of horses Cleaning of stables and yards General stable maintenance such as cleaning water troughs and small repairs Treatment of minor injuries and wounds on horses Ordering of feed, veterinary and saddlery supplies Ensuring quarantine procedures are adhered to With experience, grooms may also be given the opportunity to assist in foaling mares Handling of young horses and preparation of these horses for sales. This includes teaching horses to lead, washing, grooming and putting horses on the walking machine. Presentation of weanlings, yearlings and mares to prospective buyers at horse sales Preparation of mares for entry to the serving barn during the breeding season Some grooms that are employed on larger farms with international operations or grooms with adequate knowledge and expertise from smaller operations may also have the opportunity to travel to these farms. 07
Stud Groom A stud groom is fundamental to the day to day running and operation of any stud farm and it is a role that allo...
Stallion Handlers & Grooms The role of a Stallion handler is essentially a progression from that of a stud groom. It requires a high standard of horsemanship which is generally developed during time as a stud groom. Being a stallion handler sees involvement in the management of stallions and the mare covering process. There is the significant responsibility of looking after these highly valued thoroughbreds and seeing the safe practices of serving (or covering) broodmares during the breeding season. Stallion handlers employed by international studs may also be required to travel to the northern hemisphere for the breeding season which follows on directly after the Australian breeding season. The role of the Stallion Handler may include:       08 Control of stallions during the mating of mares Control of mares during the mating process Preparation and presentation of stallions to clients at stud stallion parades Putting stallions on exercise walkers and/or hand walking Ensuring quarantine procedures are adhered to International Travel
Stallion Handlers   Grooms The role of a Stallion handler is essentially a progression from that of a stud groom. It requi...
Veterinary Nurses Veterinary nurses are employed on a stud farm to assist veterinarians in rehabilitating horses with injuries or illness. They are also very often largely involved in the delivery of foals and hence many vet nurses are employed as ‘Night Watch’ workers during the foaling season. Quite often, veterinary nurses will be employed as stud grooms but will hold additional responsibilities. The role of a Veterinary Nurse includes:      Treating wounds Administering drugs to horses Monitoring sick and injured horses Transporting horses to hospital Delivery of foals 09
Veterinary Nurses Veterinary nurses are employed on a stud farm to assist veterinarians in rehabilitating horses with inju...
Stud Administration The role of a stud administration officer is to ensure the day to day running of the stud office which is the central point of contact for clients wishing to book their mares into stallions or the monitoring of veterinary schedules relating to the breeding of mares. Stud Administrators will often also control the accounts and communications of the farm. A stud administration role may include:      10 General administrative duties such as speaking with clients, office admin including production of reports Daily administration of the farm record keeping system. This usually involves maintenance of computer programs or systems developed to record the veterinary notes regarding cycle of mares, stages of yearling and weanling preparation as well as foaling information. You will also be required to produce reports to assist the stud manager in keeping track of the many horses on the farm Booking of client mares for service by a stallion Organisation of horse transport Some farms may also require their Stud Admin role to administer the accounts and financial records of the farm
Stud Administration The role of a stud administration officer is to ensure the day to day running of the stud office which...
Nominations A farm which stands stallions will usually have a ‘Nominations’ team. It is the role of the nominations team to work hand in hand with the marketing team to attract mare owners to their stallions. The nominations team are experts in the pedigrees of thoroughbreds and work to achieve the best mating between a mare and stallion in order to produce offspring that will fetch high prices for their owners at a sale and/or go on to make outstanding racehorses. The role of the nominations employee will include:      Studying and analysis of pedigrees Communication with clients (mare owners) and sales of stallion nominations (or mare bookings) Inspection of foals, weanlings and yearlings which are progeny of the studs stallions. This involves travel to broodmare farms and other studs not only around the Hunter Valley but to farms in other states of Australia as well as New Zealand Attending of all major sales in Australia and New Zealand as well as other sales throughout the world Raceday attendance 11
Nominations A farm which stands stallions will usually have a    Nominations    team. It is the role of the nominations te...
Marketing As with any marketing role, it is the role of a thoroughbred farm marketing employee to promote the benefits of becoming a client of that farm. This will include the promotion of stallions, agistment and horses for sale. The day to day operations of the marketing team may include:       12 Production of promotional material such as flyers, brochures and merchandise Maintenance of the website and other communication streams Media liaison Client liaison Event management Raceday attendance and hosting of functions at the racecourse
Marketing As with any marketing role, it is the role of a thoroughbred farm marketing employee to promote the benefits of ...
Farming Farmers play an integral role in the running of any thoroughbred farm. Amongst other factors, water quality, pasture maintenance and fencing play a huge major in the success of a thoroughbred farm and it is the role of the farming staff to ensure it is at its best. The role of the farming staff may include:         Pasture maintenance including sewing seed, slashing and week control Maintenance of fencing Gardening and tree planting Soil and water testing Maintenance of roads and laneways Building maintenance Cattle production, care and sale Ordering and maintenance of farm equipment 13
Farming Farmers play an integral role in the running of any thoroughbred farm. Amongst other factors, water quality, pastu...
Other Roles Many of the larger farms also employ specialist staff to help with the day to day running of the farm and business. These roles include roles in Human Resource Management, Building and Maintenance and Accounting and Finance. And at the other extreme, if you are on a very small farm, your position may involve many of the jobs described previously, all wrapped up into one very busy and demanding role. 14
Other Roles Many of the larger farms also employ specialist staff to help with the day to day running of the farm and busi...
The Greater Industry in the Hunter No matter where you start your career in the Hunter’s thoroughbred breeding industry, it’s diversity will ensure you have the opportunity follow many paths. The greater industry in the Hunter Valley may also lead you to specialise in the following careers:  Veterinary Science  Vet Nursing for a veterinary hospital or clinic  Veterinary Pathology  Horse Physio & Chiropractic  Farriery  Transport  Equine Dentistry  Horse breaking and training  A position in the racing industry 15
The Greater Industry in the Hunter No matter where you start your career in the Hunter   s thoroughbred breeding industry,...
Living and Working on a Stud Farm Most stud farms offer accommodation for staff ranging from smaller one-room apartments to three or four bedroom houses. Some farms offer share accommodation and other individual units or houses. Singles as well as families are both catered for and living on a farm has a great community feel. Smaller farms may not have on-farm accommodation however these are usually those which are situated next to a town such as Aberdeen, Denman, Murrurundi or Scone. How to get started There are several ways you might commence your career in the thoroughbred breeding industry. Respond to an advertisement. Roles in the industry are often published in local papers and media. If you do not live in the area, the local jobs are advertised in the following publications:  www.sconeadvocate.com.au  www.huntervalleynews.com.au  www.theland.com.au 16
Living and Working on a Stud Farm Most stud farms offer accommodation for staff ranging from smaller one-room apartments t...
Approach a Stud Manager or Human Resource Consultant If you are looking for a Stud Groom position, you should write to the stud(s) of your choice as conscientious and ambitious staff are always in demand. If you do not feel you have had enough experience, it would be worthwhile contacting these studs anyway and expressing your interest to learn as you may just be the person they’re looking for. You can find a listing of studs on HTBA’s website at www.htba.com.au or find us on Facebook. Other Employment Websites There are several thoroughbred breeding industry employment websites. These include:  www.racingjobs.com.au  www.bloodstock.com.au  www.tepeople.com.au  www.equusconnect.com.au  www.equinestaff.com.au  www.equine.com.au 17
Approach a Stud Manager or Human Resource Consultant If you are looking for a Stud Groom position, you should write to the...
Industry Related Courses NEW SOUTH WALES TAFE NSW Diploma of Horse Industry Management Certificate III Agriculture - Horse Breeding Certificate III Horse Industry Practice Certificate III Equine Nursing Certificate III Farriery Racing Stable hand Racing Jockey Short courses in specialist study areas Available at various campuses in NSW CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY - Wagga Wagga Bachelor of Equine Science TOCAL AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE Cert III Agriculture - Horse Breeding VICTORIA NMIT Associate degree in Equine Studies MARCUS OLDHAM COLLEGE - Geelong Diploma of Horse Business Management TAFE VIC - various campuses Diploma of Equine Stud Management Equine Nursing - Cert III Cert III Agriculture - Horse Breeding 18
Industry Related Courses NEW SOUTH WALES TAFE NSW Diploma of Horse Industry Management Certificate III Agriculture - Horse...
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Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association Please feel free to contact us regarding any other questions or help you may require. HTBA PO Box 538 SCONE NSW 2337 www.htba.com.au Please visit our website or email us at careers@htba.com.au
Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association Please feel free to contact us regarding any other questions or help you may requ...