Lindy Maurice is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thoroughbred Industry Careers. After living overseas and starting a family, the country called her all the way back to Borenore, where she now lives with her husband and children. With a strong passion for horses, Lindy wanted to educate people that careers with horses is exciting. Lindy tells Central West Mums that being a horse trainer or jockey is just one of many jobs available in the Thoroughbred Industry.
I live on a property at Borenore with my husband and two children aged 13 and 9. My parents moved to Orange when I was about 12, so I had 6 years living here as a teenager and then had around 20 years away, predominately in Sydney with a few stints living and working overseas with horses and later with racing.
We decided to move back to Orange after a few years working in Dubai when our eldest child was just a baby. Dubai is a very challenging place to live, the summers are too hot to go outside and the water too hot to swim in. Culturally it is also very challenging – you never really felt at ease and although I will never regret going there, it made me crave Australian country life as the place we wanted to bring up our children.
We have been back in Orange now for nearly 10 years, time flies and we love it. It is nice to have time with our families and for our parents to see their grandchildren grow up. My husbands family are on a property only 1.5 hrs away and my parents are here on the outskirts of Orange and we have some great mates here whom we have a lot of fun with.
I have been fortunate enough to continue my career in the Thoroughbred Industry from here and what we love about Orange is it close enough to Sydney but still feels a world away. Orange is a very different place to when I grew up here, but on the whole, the progression of the town has been extremely positive.
It was very simple really, I took my kids to Guerie Pony Camp and re-entered a world that I hadn’t lived since I stopped competing when I went to University. It made me think…what are we doing to engage these young horse riders into the industry’s workforce? It is important to mention that over the past decade or so, staffing in our industry has become very scarce, with factors such as; the increased urbanisation in Australia (90% of Australian’s now live in city areas), the mining boom, lack of awareness of careers in our industry and a lack of strategic recruitment strategies, all playing their part, I decided that there was a job to be done to guide the next generation through.
So I called John Messara, who would be one of the most intelligent and influential people our industry has seen over the past century, and had a chat with him about it. Then, I did my research, I spent a year driving around the countryside to equestrian events, speaking to young people, their parents and their teachers. I then flew to England and Ireland and reviewed what they were doing and off the back of that formulated a plan for what I thought we need to do here in Australia.
Then came the hard part – who was going to fund it?
In the end, I went to those who I had a connection with and we raised $1 million over three years to kick it off.
Arrowfield Stud, Godolphin, Adrian Bott/Gai Waterhouse Racing, Chris Waller Racing, Lindsay Park Racing (Hayes Family), Tony McEvoy Racing, The Australian Turf Club are the original 7 benefactors. Since then Racing NSW, Racing Victoria, Racing Qld and Racing SA have made contributions.
Thoroughbred Industry Careers has been up and running for two years now and we are starting to gain real momentum. If we had more funding I would put on more staff to cope with the workload.
Predominately we are the marketing arm for careers in the thoroughbred industry, but we felt that we needed to bolster some elements in the education space so we have developed two signature educational programs which aim to bridge the gap for young people who want to enter our industry.
1. Explorer Program (18 – 24yrs) – this program runs over 12 months and is broken into three sections.
Part 1 – Boot Camp (3 months) – students learn the basics of everything breeding and racing (theory and practical learning) whilst residing at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Campus.
Part 2 – 4.5 months for a leading racing stable (paid full time).
Part 3 – 4.5 months for a leading stud farm (paid full time). So in 12 months, Cadets should have a thorough understanding of the whole industry from how racing is administered, funded, how the carnivals work, the breeding cycle, the stallions, the major players along with strapping and riding racehorses, foaling down mares and prepping yearlings for sales. Cadets on this program have been incredibly successful. Applications are now open for this program.
2. Accelerator Program (18-27 yrs) – this is our latest offering, a 12-week intensive track-riding program where students are mentored by the best jockeys in Australia. This program is suited to those who are competent riders and want to learn the art of track-riding correctly and safely. This is also a good stepping stone for those who might aspire to be a jockey.
Currently, we are managing 70 students on both these programs. Students are placed with the best of the best so that they learn from the best of the best.
Our next big initiative is to introduce Pony Racing in Australia. That will see kids between 9 and 15 racing their ponies on racetracks as a grass roots sport that is currently lacking and this is the concept I am most excited about. This is the sport I would have like to have done with horses growing up.
Most people think our industry has two jobs….a horse trainer and a jockey as this is what viewers see on the television.
The thoroughbred industry in Australia employs 75,000 people so you can imagine the scope of roles which keeps the show on the road.
The bloodstock world is very exciting, roles like Bloodstock Agents who are responsible for all of the buying and selling of horses at different stages and these roles are nearly always international roles, Bloodstock Auctioneers, the marketing teams behind nearly every operation, social media people, tech roles for online selling platforms etc.
Racing stables have many layers: from ground staff to logistic staff, racing managers, jockey agents, client managers….then the race clubs employ big numbers of people to deliver racing carnivals and race day logistics, the media in our industry have a lot of varied roles, the stud farms often employ over 120 people per farm and there are different departments on farms who manage the different stages of the horse, the racing regulators, stewards etc.
You also have the veterinary, horse health and well-being roles – vets, nutritionist, physiotherapists, farriers, feed merchants etc
If you love horses there is a job for everyone in this industry. From accountants to lawyers to pedigree experts to television presenters, photographers and equine artists even. What I love is you can combine what you are good at with your love of horses and you have an interesting career that doesn’t feel like a job.
For a full list of roles, please see – https://tbindustrycareers.com.au/a-z-careers/
Foreman at Chris Waller Racing, Sales and Syndication Manager at McEvoy Mitchell Racing, we have a handful of students now studying Vet/Equine Science, track work riders for the 2020 Caulfield Cup winner 2020 ATC Oaks winner, 2020 Everest contender, Bloodstock assistant to American Horse Whisperer Monty Roberts, Assistant Broodmare Farm Manager, apprentice jockey’s, Stud Groom for Lane’s End Farm – leading stud farm in Nth America.
Because we give people the core skills and understanding of the industry and then guide and mentor them to work for the best of the best in Australia.
Do students who want to get involved in this industry need previous experience or prerequisites?
A good attitude to life and a love of horses is all they need, we take care of the rest.
Working in the thoroughbred industry isn’t a job, it’s a life – it is the most exciting, addictive industry involving our most treasured animal, ‘the horse’.
All the information is on our social media platforms and our website. If you follow our social media you won’t miss a thing!