Nov 07, 2018
Avid horse lover Karen Lockwood took a chance on a ‘sea change’, here we catch up with her six months in to her role as Racing Secretary.
Tell us a little bit about yourself Karen and how you landed this fantastic job opportunity with Snowden Racing?
I started my career at Marburg Training Centre in Queensland working with show horses then moved to New South Wales in 1987 to work at Shipton Lodge Cobbity, where the Ingham and Cummings families had horses spelling, so I got to work with some amazing racehorses such as Beauzam, Campaign King, and Boasting.
It was through the Ingham connection that opened up an opportunity to become Veterinary Assistant at Crown Lodge in Warwick Farm. That’s also when my association with the Snowden family started. I held that role for three years and when John Hawkes was appointed Head Trainer, I became his PA and Racing Secretary for a further five years.
I then decided to start a family and moved to Port Macquarie where I successfully held my Trainers Licence for a number of years, before making the move to Brisbane where my husband and I trained a small but successful team of horses.
Lyn Snowden, whom I’d always kept in touch with, contacted me about six months ago about a job opportunity to join the stable as Racing Secretary, and the time just felt right for a sea change. In addition, Queensland Racing seemed to be going backwards, yet everything was moving forwards in New South Wales, so here I am and my two children Eliza and Tom have also moved to Sydney to work in the thoroughbred industry, which is really great.
What does your job as racing secretary involve?
Looking after the clerical side of things leading in to a raceday including organising horse nominations, acceptances, transport, and colours, liaising with stable staff and generally looking after Peter and Paul.
What is it that you love most about working in the thoroughbred industry?
Seeing the transformation of the yearlings to becoming racehorses and meeting great people.
Best horse you’ve seen on a racetrack? Octagonal and Winx.
Do you have a favourite horse in the Snowden Stable? Bull Market (I own a very small share) and Chelsea Reign, I have liked her since she first came in.
Are you enjoying the lifestyle change?
Most definitely. Even though I am living in Randwick, it doesn’t feel like a city lifestyle because I get to come to the stables every day and see the horses. I love that. It’s a peaceful environment.
What improvements can be made in the thoroughbred industry?
More recognition for stable staff who work behind the scenes.
On the other hand, what works really well in the thoroughbred industry?
Increasing attention to helping our industry participants, and prizemoney increases.
Words: Karen Lockwood Interviewer: Sarah Peatling
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