Welcome to TDNAusNZ’s ‘It Takes a Team’, brought to you in conjunction with Thoroughbred Industry Careers. Here we highlight and celebrate some of the heroes of our industry. The strappers, riders, studworkers and people behind the scenes of our champions. The people who are up late into the night foaling or up at the crack of dawn to trackwork, working tirelessly to keep the industry running.
Today we take a look at the early mornings behind each horse's race day preparation. Haylee Day is a trackwork rider for Peter and Paul Snowden and has been lucky enough to gain the ride on horses such as Russian Revolution and Pariah.
Trackwork Rider - Haylee Day
TDN: Can you tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get started in the industry?
Haylee: I grew up in Goulburn around harness racing and my first job with thoroughbreds was with Guy Walter where I learnt to ride track work at his Goulburn stable. I worked for Guy for three and a half years, before working for Kerry Parker for 18 months, before moving to Randwick to work for Team Snowden, where I have been for the last three years.
TDN: What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
Haylee: When working for Guy Walter I started an apprentice license and was able to ride in trials. I’ve also been very fortunate to work with horses like Russian Revolution and Pariah.
TDN: What’s it like being able to work with such good horses every day?
Haylee: You really can’t compare it to anything when you can care for something that is so valuable and competes at the elite level all the time.
TDN: Who’s your favourite horse you’ve ever ridden?
Haylee: My all time favourite would be Jacquinot Bay, but another horse that holds a place in my heart is Appearance.
TDN: What’s the toughest aspect of riding track work?
Haylee: It’s not an easy job, so there is definitely no one thing. The fact that you have to be motivated and ready to go at 4 am can sometimes be tough.
TDN: What’s your favourite part of riding?
Haylee: Being able to gallop an elite athlete is the best feeling ever, but also watching the horses grow and change and go on to win a race is massive as you know the huge amount of work that has gone into getting that horse to win that race.
TDN: Do you have any mentors you would say have really helped you along the way in your career?
Haylee: My Dad has definitely been my biggest supporter.
TDN: Do you have any advice for anyone looking to take up a career as a track work rider?
Hayley: Definitely give it a crack if its something you're interested in, the job satisfaction is huge and it's something that can allow you to travel all over the world.