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The NZTBA is delighted to announce the winners of its 2008 Scholarships

NZTBA International Management Scholarship
BRUCE SLADE (White Robe Lodge)
The International Management Scholarship is funded by the Sunline Education Trust, established in 2002 with the support of studs and the NZTBA Auckland branch.
K.I.A Taylor Charitable Trust
LISA RICHARDS (Curraghmore Stud)
MARK FORBES (Cambridge Stud)
These Overseas Training Scholarships were established in 1991 by the NZTBA Wellington branch and are currently funded by the K.I.A. Taylor Charitable Trust. Trust.


A horse-ride with a friend ten years ago sparked a passion that will take 20-year-old South Canterbury horsewoman Lisa Richards all the way to Ireland in February.

Lisa has been awarded the NZTBA's 2008 K.I.A. Taylor Charitable Trust Scholarship to attend the five-month National Stud Diploma course.

Lisa Richards

From Waimate, South Canterbury, Lisa has no family connection with the thoroughbred industry but clearly remembers that first ride. "I loved the fun of being out there on a horse and going fast, so I went back the next day, and the day after that, and just kept coming back."

Soon afterwards she began competing in equestrian events, and achieved success as an individual and as a member of local school and pony club teams. Lisa graduated from Waimate High School with all three levels of NCEA and University Entrance, and then completed six papers towards a degree in environmental management at Lincoln University. During her first summer break in 2005-06 she was employed by The Oaks Stud to prepare yearlings for the Karaka sales and Seachange, a three-year-old at the time, became her favourite racehorse.

A year later, Lisa decided to pursue a career in the thoroughbred industry and left university to work at Curraghmore Stud, Hamilton, with stints at Coolmore and Tyreel Studs in New South Wales. This experience has helped to shape her ambition to operate her own farm.

"I want to work with a small number of quality horses, and aim to breed and sell yearlings. I really enjoy yearling work, seeing horses develop through to the sales and then following them as racehorses."

Lisa is grateful for the support she's already had and ready for the exciting opportunities the Scholarship will give her. "Gordon Cunningham and Tracy Simmons at Curraghmore have taught me heaps, and I'm looking forward to meeting more people, learning from the experience and bringing it all back here."


Such was the quality of this year's applicants that a second 2008 Keith Taylor Memorial Trust Scholarship to the Irish National Stud has been awarded, to 18-year-old Mark Forbes.

Mark Forbes parades a Cambridge Stud yearling at Karaka, January 2008
Mark has claims to be the best-connected young person in the industry, as the son of trainer Graeme and yearling manager Sheryl (at Highview & Dormello Studs respectively) and grandson of trainer Garry Tims. He's displayed precocious ability with horses, competing at pony club as a five-year-old, and leading a yearling through the Karaka sale-ring at the age of nine.

Educated at Hillcrest High School where he gained NCEA Levels 1, 2 & 3, Mark has already worked for two years at Cambridge Stud where Sir Patrick Hogan has taken a particular interest in his career. Stud manager Marcus Corban describes Mark as "outstanding young horseman" who has foaled mares, cared for foals and worked with the stallion Keeper during the breeding season.

This year Mark spent four months working as a trackwork rider at David Hayes' stables in South Australia. He says, "It was great to see how he trains his horses, it's very different to the New Zealand way."

Mark's long-term ambitions are to manage a stud and breed a Melbourne Cup or Derby winner. More immediately he's excited about the opportunities offered by five months at the Irish National Stud. "I want to get lots of experience and learn other ways of doing things."


Inspired by the international success of South African champion London News, and encouraged by his uncle John, the 13-year-old Bruce Slade set out to build a career in thoroughbred breeding.
Bruce Slade with White Robe Lodge's first season sire Gallant Guru

Nine years later, with his final university exams behind him and the names of leading Australian, New Zealand and South African studs on his CV, Bruce is ready to make the most of the 2008 NZTBA International Management Scholarship.

He brims with excitement about the opportunity he will take up in February to work and learn at three of the world's most successful thoroughbred businesses: Cheveley Park Stud, England; Coolmore, Ireland; and Taylor Made Farm, United States.

Bruce is already considering his focus for each placement. He says, "I want to concentrate on breeding and foaling at Cheveley Park, marketing at Coolmore, and yearling preparation and client communications at Taylor Made."

He's especially interested in communicating effectively with owner-breeders. "We can make their industry involvement so much more exciting, using new technology to heighten their experience."

Bruce began working with horses at John Slade's Valley Stud, Canterbury in 1998, while still at St Bede's College. "Uncle John was so passionate and enthusiastic, he helped me in the beginning and gave me the best possible opportunities."

Two summers of yearling preparation at Bloomsbury Stud, Matamata followed, before Bruce spent a gap year as a stud groom, first at Maine Chance Farm, South Africa and then at Rich Hill Stud, Matamata.

During three years at the University of Otago studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree, he never missed an opportunity to add to his thoroughbred industry experience, working at Rich Hill and Arrowfield Studs, at William Inglis & Son, Melbourne, and with bloodstock agent John Chalmers in Perth.

Asked to name his favourite current racehorse, Bruce says, "Xcellent - I love the Pentires, they are tenacious, durable and they win at any distance." Rich Hill Stud's John Thompson returns the compliment, saying that Bruce's enthusiasm and positive attitude boosts everyone who works with him.

With an ambition to manage "a really nice stud" and a determination to contribute positively to the New Zealand thoroughbred industry, Bruce is counting the days until his departure on the first leg of the Scholarship. He says, "I can't wait, I'm just so excited!"
- Susan Archer


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