Jan 19, 2017
There’s always one employee in an organisation who is personable, approachable and tries to make everyone - especially the new comers - feel comfortable and welcome. Meet Snowden Racing’s Lindy Wharekura, who fits exactly into this mould!
How did your career start in horseracing? I was born into racing because both of my parents, Wanda Ings and Wi Wharekura, held trainers licences.I used to work in the stables for my mum before and after school as a kid doing boxes and feeding up. I got my first paying job at 14 when I worked for Garry White at Hawkesbury on weekends and school holidays. Mum is still training a small team from Hawkesbury.
How did you come to work at Snowden Racing? I worked under Peter at Crown Lodge and Darley for five years, and in that time I grew to respect him as a horseman and person, so had no hesitation in joining him and Paul when they decided to take up training together. I have a great relationship with Paul too, and look to him more as an older brother figure.
Who's the horse with most personality in the yard at the moment & why? That's A Good Idea. He's a great character and very intelligent, whenever I come home from grocery shopping he associates the bags with carrots, and bangs his box door until I give him carrots! He can be a hard case lad at times, but we have a good connection.
I've always been attracted to horses who are a little bit difficult; they challenge me to be a better horse person.
What does your job involve exactly? A bit of everything! My job title is Roaming Foreman so that means covering the barns of other foreman managers if they’re away, sending horses out to track work in the morning, helping with basic vet work, communicating in general with staff to ensure they’re happy and productive, attending race days, trial days, reporting in to Peter, Paul, and Jackson…the list goes on.
No trackwork riding for you then? No I’ve never had the desire to do so. I rode ponies as a child until I was 15, but never felt it was my thing. I much prefer the comfort of solid ground under my feet!
What's the best part about your job? Naturally the horses get me out of bed every day, but I really enjoy working with keen young people who want to learn. I’m a social person and like encouraging staff and seeing them develop.
What industry changes would you like to see happen for the benefit of stable staff? Better work hours is the main issue in racing. We will always struggle to get new and fresh blood into the stable ranks while the hours are so horrendous.
It’s different for me, as I’ve been used to waking up at 3am for most of my life but for people looking to start working in the industry, the hours are off-putting.
What does working with horses mean to you? I love horses, and I love horse racing. Some of my best friends are horses. There are more photos of horses in my bedroom than there are of my family!
Favourite racehorse of all time? Epaulette. I absolutely loved working with him.
Horse to follow for 2017? Acatour, Molten, Marishka, & Missile Coda.
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Interview: Sarah Peatling Image courtesy: Daryl Duckworth
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