The infectious passion and love for horses couldn’t be more apparent for Chloe Jones, second in charge to Assistant Manager Michael Cumming and Brian Coyle at Flinders Park Stud, in Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula.
‘I knew that horses were always going to be a part of me, whether I liked it or not!
I just had to figure out how to make a career out of them rather than the horses just being an expensive hobby!’
When considering a career Chloe knew that working with animals and horses in the outdoors was the only thing that would make her truly happy. Although she grew up around horses, her family and the world she came from was not involved with the Thoroughbred Industry.
‘My mum raised me on the back of a quarter horse, I was riding before I could walk. Growing up on the farm, spending all my spare time mucking stables and cleaning paddocks, the horses were my family. I was totally at peace around the them and utterly obsessed with all things horses.’
Through-out school Chloe wanted to gain a deeper understanding for animals and horses, so she began her educational journey which saw her complete a series of different qualifications. Studying at the National Centre of Equine Education to gain all of her Animal Studies and Equine Certifications. Although Chloe was unsure which direction her career would take, the education really accentuated her love for the horse. ‘I had so much passion and I wanted to learn more!’ Completing another course through the Northern Metropolitan Institute of TAFE, she graduated a diploma in Equine Stud Management, which saw her accepted into a scholarship program. This led her to traveling and working on major farms and stables around Australia and New Zealand. Arriving home to Victoria she continued gaining more experience and completed a course at the Australian College of Animal Therapies. This enabled Chloe to dive deeper into her passion for anatomy and physiology, majoring in Equine Sports Therapy and opening doors for vet nursing, equine rehab, massage, the possibilities really were limitless.
For Chloe, to work in the Thoroughbred Industry took some emotional acceptance. ‘I am a full-blown animal loving vegan! No-one in my family have ever trained or been involved with racehorses or even supported gambling. For me, I decided I would make up my own mind about the industry and here I am today, one of the true horse lovers working in the Australian Thoroughbred Industry’
Chloe’s successful education saw her gain first-hand experience on multiple different farms from foaling down, yearling preparation and sales, bloodstock work, horse riding schools, pre-training and breaking in young horses, all the way through to tractor driving, agriculture certifications and track work.
‘I decided I wanted to learn everything, from breeding the animals all the way to watching them on the win at the races. I wanted to know everything about how the industry operated and whether I could make a change for the better of the horse.’
After 2 years of working her way around different farms and stables, Chloe decided that Victoria was where she needed to be based close to family and friends. Chloe knew that she wanted to be working out on a farm in the sun and fresh air raising horses and prepping well rounded quality yearlings, this was where she found her drive.
‘I love being connected to the horse from start to end, setting up their breeding, to watching the foals grow up, then beginning their education and pre-training, daily care and plenty of love, all the way through to taking your horse through the ring at the sales and feeling that buzz, as the hammer comes down and your filled with pride’
Chloe is coming up to her eighth year at Flinders Park Stud. ‘I saw the position for a yearling prep role and applied. The farm was nearby to where I was living and working at the time, I was managing an agistment farm for a Polo Player. I took the Flinders Park yearling job and after all these years here we are today!’
Flinders Park Stud offered Chloe her assistant manager role. It is evident that this farm works closely as a team, with a shared desired outcome for the horses. ‘It was important to me to find a farm with like-minded people that I could work for. The health, happiness and future of the horses is paramount. The farm is my home, we are all a family here.’
‘The experiences and opportunities that Flinders Park has given me, has pushed me in the right direction for my career to develop further, for that I will always be thankful.’
Chloe’s dream since she was a little girl was to purchase and her own farm. The plan was to buy somewhere on the Mornington Peninsula so that she could build up her business which would include; riding, teaching, training, and caring for all types of performance horses.
Working on a horse farm is full time job and requires 24/7 attention. Chloe somehow manages to do it all, and somehow still finds time to dabble in some yoga teaching and training. ‘You have to keep physically fit for the horses!’
In addition to working at Flinders Park, Chloe now also runs her boutique agistment and training Centre in Tyabb. Almost 2 years ago Chloe took the leap of faith and decided it was time to make her dreams a reality. Chloe and her husband purchased their beautiful property and the hard work began. Her farm was full in the first week that it opened, with anywhere from thirteen to seventeen horses in full boutique care and training. With the hands-on experience, education and support Chloe has received from the Thoroughbred Industry she is lucky enough to be successfully running and enjoying her business, Graydens Park.
It is remarkable to see the care and true unconditional love that Chloe has, she really is the epitome of working 24/7 with horses. ‘Being on the farm with the horses is my therapy. It is the ultimate dream for me and I am very lucky to be living my dream every single day. The experience and guidance I’ve had at Flinders Park has given me the confidence to successfully purchase and run my own property, which is huge. I never imagined all those years ago stepping into the industry that it would open as many doors as it has for me.’ Chloe has achieved an extraordinary amount and considering she has only just turned 30, it is an amazing feat.
‘I know this life is where I belong, and I wouldn’t t want to have it any other way. Horses saved my life, so now that’s why I’m spending the rest of time looking after them.’
Chloe relishes with the unique lifestyle on the Mornington Peninsula. ‘I enjoy the boutique feel which a lot of farms on the Peninsula have. I believe in quality over quantity and I enjoy the relationship that I can develop with the horses on smaller farms. It allows you to spend more time with each horse keeping an eye for detail and taking pride in her work is very important to Chloe. ‘We are breeding and raising horses in one of the most beautiful places in Australia, so I feel very blessed. There are 4 or 5 studs in close proximity to one another down here which makes me feel like we live in our own little thoroughbred bubble. I am a big ocean lover so finding a farm to work for that is less than a 5-minute drive from the Flinders beach, which has panoramic views of the water makes me feel very at home. Summer lunch breaks always involve taking the dogs for a jump off the pier and cooling down after working the horses.’ Chloe and her husband even got married at Flinders Park Stud, in the main paddock overlooking the ocean. With their family and friends by their side, a couple of tipis and some impressive fairy lights, Chloe rode her off the track thoroughbred mare down the aisle with her two dogs at foot. The rest is history.
The advice that Chloe would wish to pass onto someone looking at starting in the industry is ‘You have to follow your heart, work hard, ask lots of questions, and never ever give up! I won’t lie, it is difficult at times, this is not a 9am till 5pm, Monday to Friday job, there’s no heating out in the paddocks in winter, and certainly no aircon in summer. It’s hard work, but that’s why it’s so rewarding. When you step into this industry you will reap the benefits, there is so much to offer for anybody willing to try. This industry provides people with a lifestyle and it is so much more powerful than a pay cheque from a 9-5 job. Being part of a community of animal lovers, surrounded by true horseman, and getting to work with the ultimate equine athletes. Everyone knows one another and supports each other immensely, there’s never any shortage of work, and the opportunities are limitless. You can all achieve big dreams just like I have. All thanks to the pure love of the horse.’