Oct 25, 2017
Born and bred in Uzbekistan, formerly part of the USSR which is now bordered by Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in Asia, Snowden Racing’s talented Mila Chausova, has come a long way to find her place in the world. Here she shares her background and celebrates her Australian way of life and love of thoroughbreds.
What’s your background Mila? I grew up in Uzbekistan - which used to be part of the Soviet Union so political tensions were high at times especially during the 1990’s when the country became independent. As a family, we quietly went about our business but there were some tough times when we felt unwelcome in our own country. Sport was a distraction for me. I made the national Judo team and got my black belt - I used to train two hours before and after school and eventually studied sports science at university. As a young woman living in Uzbekistan though, the mentality towards to females was different and career limited options. I could never see myself living a truly free life, so when my best friend - who connected me with horses through dressage in my early twenties, left Uzbekistan for Australia, she inspired me to follow.
When did you move to Australia? I moved to Australia in 2003 through the Stable Mate Agency who organised all of the paperwork and visas, and first got a job with Graeme Rogerson’s stable. I hadn’t worked with thoroughbreds before so it was a big learning curve because they are so different to equestrian horses. I progressed from there to John O’Shea and then to Snowden’s so I have been working at Randwick for almost 10 years now!
You are currently stable foreman with a barn of 24 or so horses to look after, you’ve progressed well! Twelve months ago, Peter suggested to me to become a foreman but I lacked the confidence. I eventually backed myself and stepped up. Now I am foreman of B barn and I love being in charge of a barn and have got a good team of people to work with. Some of the horses under our care are Marishka, Satin Slipper, Galina, Ravi, Nancy, and Missile Coda - all very talented.
Do you have any favourites? Yes, Marishka. She was my top pick as a yearling when she was first being educated in the stable and I annoyed Peter every day to have her in my barn. She is only small but has the best attitude, is laid back and learns quickly. What can I say…I love her and she’s talented – she’s my ‘one to watch’ for sure.
What is it that you love most about living in Australia? Freedom and opportunities. I just got permanent residency – it took me 10 years but I feel very lucky. I’ve always dreamt of having my parents move here with me, but that wasn’t meant to be. My dad passed away just over six months ago, but I had the chance to say goodbye. My mum will come out and visit this year. I want her to see and get a feel for what I do every day. I am really looking forward to this day.
Words: Sarah Peatling & Mila Chausova Image courtesy: Bradley Photos
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