Waikato horsewoman Mary Lynne Ryan is remembered for her passion for thoroughbred breeding and racing and for her dedication to the development and education of young people wanting to develop their careers.
Introduced in 2007, the award named in her honour recognises the dedication and passion of a talented young person (30yo and under) working in the thoroughbred industry.
The list of past recipients features the likes of Brighthill Farm’s Benji King, Picket Fence owner/operator Tara Hughes, Kerrie Cox (nee McVeigh), Callum Jones, stud manager at Trelawney Stud, Valachi Downs operations manager Sam Fursdon, and 2020’s popular winner Julian Corban.
There are three finalists for the 2021 award, to be presented as part of the Ebbett VW National Breeding Awards.
Alice Berry – Windsor Park Stud
English-born Alice Berry has been at Windsor Park Stud for eight years and in that time has worked her way up to her current position of Yearling Manager.
She began her tenure as a general stud hand, learning the ropes while involved in all aspects of the farm’s operation.
A firm foundation of horsemanship established, Alice stepped up to the task of running the foaling unit, an important role in any breeding operation especially one the size of Windsor Park Stud.
From there she moved to assistant yearling manager and progressed to her current position, heading the yearling team that prepare around 60-70 horses each year for sales around Australasia.
Alice is a familiar face at the sales, is recognised as a talented yearling handler and is equally adept at dealing with staff and clients of the farm. She works well with those in her own team as well as fellow mangers at Windsor Park Stud.
This year she added a new string to her bow when she travelled nine yearlings to the South Island for Windsor Park’s unique Rugby, Racing and Beer yearling auction.
Alice hasn’t been afraid to invest her own money in the industry, developing her own bloodstock business by pinhooking weanlings to sell as yearlings around Australasia. She has often taken the road less travelled to source her stock, one time heading to Whakatane to view a colt in the paddock before purchasing him for $15,000 and then watching him get knocked for $130,000 at the Inglis Classic Sale.
Alice has carved a successful career for herself in the thoroughbred industry and is a huge asset to Windsor Park Stud. The depth of her multifaceted equine knowledge and skills has been developed through hard work and taking every opportunity to learn as she has developed her career.
Alice is a highly talented horsewoman that is not only an essential cog in the workings of one of New Zealand’s largest studs, but one that is using her knowledge to capitalise on her own investment in the industry through her bloodstock business.
Jaimee Gowler- Waikato Stud
Jaimee Gowler (29) has been at Waikato Stud for over ten years.
She began at Courtza Park breaking in horses and has progressed through the ranks holding the position as Yearling Manager before moving to her current role of Bloodstock Manager 12 months ago.
As Yearling Manager, one of Jaimee’s primary achievements was at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2019 Book 1 sale when Waikato Stud presented 85 yearlings, the largest privately owned draft at the auction, which grossed approximately $15,900,000 and averaged $227,500.
Presenting such a large draft of horses at such a high quality is testament to her horsemanship, her time management, and her ability her to manage the large number of staff required to pull off this result.
Jaimee has a wide scope of operations as Bloodstock Manager for Waikato Stud which sees her work closely with Mark Chittick as his 2IC. Her strong work ethic and attention to detail comes into play as she manages the day-to-day running of the farm and its bloodstock, and the strong roster of staff which she has helped develop.
It is a hands-on role that requires a broad depth of knowledge, managing the running of a commercial horse stud as well as its people.
She leads by example and is a role model for other staff and young people looking to develop their career in the thoroughbred industry.
Jaimee also has personal investment in the industry and is a co-owner of a broodmare whose first foal, a Savabeel filly, will be sold in 2022.
A hard working, valued member of Waikato Stud’s team, Jaimee is an excellent example of someone whose life-long passion for horses has been developed into a challenging yet rewarding career.
Brad Molander- Wentwood Grange
Brad Molander is an exemplary example of a young person in the industry who shows dedication and passion and is a crucial part of Wentwood Grange’s success.
He has a strong background developing his skills and knowledge working in both racing stables and on stud farms around Australasia.
His relationship with Wentwood Grange began when he was freelancing on the Australasian sales circuit, after three seasons he was convinced to join the farm’s roster as a permanent full time staff member.
Brad currently holds the role of yearling manager, a task he excels at with both his horsemanship and people skills.
Not only is he great with the youngstock and mares, working with complete trust from the Hawkins family, Brad also communicates well with clients and manages staff well.
He motivates the other staff members and assists with upskilling the team, giving advice on everything from general horse handling to the finer points of parading yearlings.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Brad is always keen to develop his own knowledge and aptitudes, acting as a role model to others wanting to embark on their own career path in the industry.
This year Brad stepped up and went above and beyond to ensure Wentwood Grange’s yearling sales went off without a hitch despite the COVID related difficulties of sending horses and staff across the Tasman. This effort was the main prompt behind this nomination for the award.
Wentwood Grange was the only New Zealand-based farm able to sell their horses with their own staff at the Inglis Classic and Magic Millions Adelaide Sales, a feat only possible due to Brad’s commitment to his role and his willingness to complete the necessary quarantine requirements needed to travel between Australia and New Zealand.
This was a massive thing to undertake and is a credit to young person who gives 100 percent to his job and wants the best possible outcome for the farm and its clients.
Brad has also invested in bloodstock, using his experience to select horses he thinks will be successful.
Nothing is ever too much work for Brad, he never complains about the extra hours that are part and parcel of working in the horse industry and turns his hand to whatever is required on the farm.
He is a worthy nomination for the Mary Lynne Ryan Young Achiever Award and is a great example of a high calibre horseperson who will no doubt go on continue to work in the thoroughbred industry with distinction.