It Takes A Team

3 min read

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, stud-workers 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 stopped by Stable H at the Magic Millions to see Vinery, who sold one of the favourites for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in Exhilarates through their draft last year. Yearling Manager Linda Neaseby was in charge of the team who prepared Exhilarates for sale and took some time out of her busy day to tell us about life at the sales.

Linda Neaseby - Vinery Yearling Manager

TDN: Can you tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get started in the industry?

Linda: At the time I was finishing school, my older sister was working for a stud and I decided I wanted to spend my gap year working with horses. I started on yearlings doing a Magics prep and was determined to get to a sale and see where it took me.

Vinery yearling manager, Linda Neaseby

TDN: What does a typical day at the sales look like?

Linda: We start early. In the mornings we go over every horse, walk them out and groom them so that they are presentable when inspections start. There's really no down time during the day. Even when there's no inspections going on there's always something to be done.

TDN: Do you remember what Exhilarates was like as a yearling?

Linda: Absolutely! We loved her. She always had an appetite and was the first one looking for breakfast in the mornings (and every other meal for that matter). She was such a pleasure to have in the barn but definitely had a sassy side.

Linda catching up with Exhilarates on the GC ahead of his run in the MM 2YO Classic

TDN: How does it feel to have worked with one of the favourites for the Magic Millions?

Linda: It's definitely a surreal feeling knowing a horse we cared for from the beginning is now going on to do exactly what we aimed for. It's great knowing our hard work has paid off!

TDN: Has it created a buzz around the Vinery draft?

Linda: Vinery graduate success is always going to create interest from people hoping to find the next superstar. Our horses have been really busy so we are looking forward to putting them through the ring .

TDN: Do you have any other sales favourites?

Linda: There's always a favourite in each prep, almost always for me it's the quirky colt that livens up your day.

The Vinery team preparing for sale day

TDN: What is your favourite sale?

Linda: Definitely Magics as it's the first prep for the season. There is so much hype around this sale and you see so much improvement in these yearlings, which were babies just a few months ago.

TDN: Any advice for anyone looking to get involved in the sales circuit?

Linda: I feel it's always good to have done a prep on-farm with the horses. Studs are always looking for experienced handlers and knowing the horses that bit more is only going to benefit you. Once you get to the sales, everyone knows everyone so it's easy to learn about further opportunities from there.

Linda parading on the Gold Coast