Participant Stories

Take a look at the inspiring stories of individuals in our diverse industry.

With numerous career paths available, people with varying interests and skillsets can find their calling within the Thoroughbred Industry


Brad Molander

Yearling Manager

Young Gun Brad Molander has been an integral part of Wentwood Grange as Yearling Manager for a number of years, and he was recently recognised for his contribution to the local breeding industry as recipient of the LOVERACING.NZ Mary Lynne Ryan Young Achiever Award.


Sam Bergerson


Joining the helm of the premiership winning racing stable, Young Gun Sam Bergerson has already got off to a winning start at Te Akau Racing.

A third-generation trainer, 29-year-old Sam may have been raised in the industry, but it wasn't until a stint with Aidan O'Brien where he truly found his passion for the game. Initially starting at Te Akau under Jamie Richards, he now joins Mark Walker in partnership for the new season.


Kurtis Pertab


Young gun Kurtis Pertab is a talented horseman who at 21 years old balances breaking-in, pre-training, pinhooking, Ready To Run Sale prep as well as training a team of runners.


Raised within the industry, Kurtis trained his first winner in November and the success has continued to flow. With both a racing-base and a pre-training farm in Matamata, Kurtis is kept busy with a very 'hands-on' approach. A former successful rodeo rider, his well-rounded horsemanship skills comes to the fore throughout his work and the future looks bright!


Sam Mynott


Sam Mynott is a new trainer on the scene that has quickly made a strong impression. With a small team of runners as well as breaking in, pre-training and even riding raceday as an amateur jockey, this young gun has a bright future ahead.


Based in Cambridge, Sam may have come from a non-horsey background, but the former top-eventor who found trackwork to fund her sport in turn developed a love for the racing game. Now a licensed trainer with a small team of racehorses, she well and truly keeps herself busy in multiple different areas of the game


Samantha Logan


Recently, Samantha Logan notched up her first stakes winner with Saltcoats at Pukekohe Park, however it's with jumps racing where the young trainer got her start and a part of the industry she still feels very passionate about.


The daughter of Donna and Dean Logan, racing was always a prominent aspect of Sam's life and a passion she gained from a young age. Working with some incredible horse power at her parent's Ruakaka base such as Habibi and Rising Romance, she would go on to gain an affinity with jumpers. With a passion for the longevity of jumps racing, Sam is a great role model for young, hard-working participants within the racing industry.


Mitchell Whelan

Godolphin Flying Start Trainee 2023 - 2025

Young Kiwi Mitchell Whelan was recently accepted into the 2023 intake of the prestigious Godolphin Flying Start program, where successful applicants travel the world learning from the very best in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry.


LOVERACING.NZ spent some time with Mitchell to learn a bit more about how his non-racing background led to an immersion in the industry, from working for trainer Terry Kennedy, to Cambridge Stud, and White Robe Lodge and more recently as a Foreman at Stephen Marsh Racing.


Matia Grace

Tauherenikau Track Manager

LOVERACING.NZ recently spent some time with track manager Matia Grace to learn more about her and the role she plays in maintaining the track and grounds at one of New Zealand's iconic race tracks.


The Wairarapa Racing Club has been racing at Tauherenikau since 1874 and hosts three meetings yearly. The Masterton Racing Club ran their race meeting at Opaki Racecourse until moving to Tauherenikau in 1987 and run their Masterton Cup meeting once a year at the track.



Kelsey Hannan

Apprentice Jockey

Having her first race-day ride in March 2022, Kelsey Hannan has made a dominant start to her career as current leader of the apprentice premiership.


From a non-horsey background, Kelsey has quickly moved up the riding ranks and has big ambitions in mind. Apprenticed to Shaun Phelan Racing, no two days are the same as she works hard to obtain those winning rides. Ultra-competitive and bubbly, Kelsey is a young gun with a bright future in the game.


Noel Harris

Apprentice Mentor and Riding Master

With a career spanning over four decades, Noel Harris is not only our Northern Region Riding Master, but a former champion jockey, mentor, generational industry participant, a friend to many and all-round legend.




Kane Jones

NZB Sales Rep

New Zealand Bloodstock agent Kane Jones is a young gun with a real eye for a horse, and he has the key role of matching his prospective clients with the right one. We caught up with Kane ahead of the Karaka Yearling Sales as he prepared for what is the busiest time of the year.


Daniel Miller

Racehorse Trainer

24-year-old emerging trainer Daniel Miller talks through where it all started, a typical day for him, what it's like having two apprentices in his team and some of his proudest moments.



Max Smithies

Studmaster - Monovale Farm

In the heart of the Waikato lies Monovale Farm, a boutique breeding operation that has produced some seriously big names in racing. Max Smithies operates the stunning Maungatautari farm alongside his brother Joe and have produced many high calibre horses.


Flo Gore 

Foaling Unit Manager

LOVERACING.NZ spent a night with Flo Gore from Windsor Park Stud and found out what a night in Foal Watch is like. *warning graphic images*


Robert Logan 

NZB Airfreight Operations

Although overseas travel may seem like a distant memory to many of us, our thoroughbreds continue to fly around the globe, and New Zealand Bloodstock airfreight operations Robert Logan ensures they do so in luxury. Robert has since been employed by NZTR as a Racing Business Associate.


Emma Thompson

NZB Marketing Assistant

Young gun Emma Thompson is a jack of all trades when it comes to selling and promoting the New Zealand Thoroughbred. We caught up with Emma following the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sales, the busiest time of her year! 


Todd Pollard

Racing Manager

LOVERACING.NZ caught up with Todd Pollard, the Racing Manager at one of New Zealand's leading training stables - Marsh Racing. 


Amber Sims

Marketing and Sponsorship Manager and Trainer 

We caught up with Pukekohe based ex-jockey Amber Sims. Amber now spends her time riding trackwork, training her horse and helping her mum in the morning then heading to the office at Pukekohe Park for her marketing and sponsorship role. Amber has since been employed by NZTR as the Northern Education Coordinator.


Brad Stevens 


We caught up with farrier Brad Stevens to talk through a typical day on the tools. After growing up around horses with father Phil being a trainer, the natural progression was to move into a trade involving horses.


Terry Wenn 

Clerk of the Course

We recently highlighted retired racehorse Von Tunzelman, and learnt about his role as a Clerk of the Course horse; now hear from his owner Terry Wenn, about the essential role he plays on race day and at trials.


Peter Rubery

Raceday Photographer 

Nothing beats the thrill of a winner, and having those memories to keep forever is as good as it gets! As a raceday photographer, capturing those special moments is what Peter Rubery's job is all about, and he's captured PLENTY throughout his career spanning almost four decades.


Ryan Stacey 


We caught up with Brighthill Farm groom Ryan Stacey. He considers himself a 'late bloomer' into the racing industry, having started working with horses at age 25 but managed to get the Irish National Stud scholarship - an experience he HIGHLY recommends!


Ryan deals in all aspects of the farm at Brighthill but he's got a soft spot for stallion Preferment and teaser pony Utah.



Starting Gate Attendant 


Ever wondered what it's like to be a starting attendant?! Like many roles in our industry, these individuals are often referred to as our ‘unsung heroes.’ They put their bodies on the line to keep both our horses and our humans safe. There are many starting attendant crews around the country; and to each and every one of you - we salute you!