Jenny with husband, David

The prestigious Lady of Racing award is almost upon us and our very own Jenny Moodie has made the cut as one of this year’s finalists. Jenny has made a huge contribution to the industry over many years and the nomination is incredibly deserving.

‘I am incredibly honoured, and I feel very privileged to have been nominated. It is important for people to understand that the contributions I’ve made to the industry have not been as an individual. I have always been part of a team. As President of the Wakeful Club I had the most amazing committee behind me who are just as deserving of this award and I am doing it for them. Similarly, the ladies on the board at Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria are amazing and just l so dedicated to the industry. I have been incredibly fortunate to work
these people.’ During Jenny’s time as President of The Wakeful Club, the strappers prize initiative was implemented ‘to recognise those who are up with the horses every morning, most mornings of the year’ and this is continuing today.

Jenny has been an advocate in supporting females working in the industry and has been passionate in ensuring there is significant presence across the industry. ‘In times gone by, it has been such a male dominated industry and behind the men there were so many women doing the hard yards in the background. It is fantastic that women are at the forefront of so many facets of the industry and being recognised today. It’s the way it should be!’

For Jenny, the passion for horses and love of the animal started at a very early age and was very much encouraged by her family. ‘My mother was quite an accomplished equestrian rider and she insisted that we all learnt to ride which started my love of the horse. When I was at school my best friend’s parents owned a horse stud. Every school holiday since about the age of 7 was spent there and it was really the only thing I was ever interested in.’

After leaving school, Jenny was determined to gain a deeper understanding of the industry and completed a new course at Orange and Hawkesbury Agriculture Colleges, an Associate Diploma in Horse Management. Jenny’s passion and dedication for horses was clear to the course leaders as she was invited back to be on the Course Advisory Panel.

Jenny’s first foot into the industry was with Logan Livestock Insurance over thirty years ago, where she also met her husband, David. After some hard persuasion by David, Jenny, a Sydney sider, was soon on her way to Melbourne and she hasn’t looked back since. David established Contract Racing’s first stud ‘Craigielea’ at Kilmore in the 1980’s, standing the successful stallions Amyntor (FR), Raami (GB) and Blazing Sword, as well as the state-of-the-art training facility ‘Hobsons Lodge’ at Flemington. Since joining David, Jenny has been
heavily involved in managing the business, particularly the administrative side, of both Contract Racing and Hesket Bloodstock (in more recent years) and has seen some amazing results on the track and in the sale ring.

The industry faces many challenges and one section that Jenny feels strongly about is the education of staff. ‘I personally don’t feel there are enough options in the area of education for stable and farm employees. We have the facilities in Victoria to do the training and it would be great if we had the government support to implement it. Having staff who are more adequately trained could help eliminate some of the day to day issues we see in racing stables and on farms. In other sports, science has advanced to provide enhanced individualised training and nutritional programs. Horses are individuals and there is no reason why we cannot adopt individualised training and nutritional programs in this industry as well.’

A very current issue in our industry is horse welfare and Jenny believes again this comes down to education. ‘I do not think the general public realise how much love there is for most of the horses in this industry. We have paddocks full of retired racehorses and broodmares and it breaks our heart every time we lose one. It would be nice if we could get the message out there that all these animals really are cared for. It is fantastic we have a taskforce looking into equine welfare, but it needs to be done at a federal level as this is a national issue and should be addressed as such. It would be nice for the states to work
together to achieve this.’

Jenny has had many horses that have held a special place in her heart but for her ‘Artic Scent was probably my favourite horse and ever since then I have tried not to have favourites. Unfortunately, she died after a spider bite while she was in foal to Danehill which was just tragic.’

The advice that Jenny would pass on to anyone looking at getting into the industry is ‘Go for it! It’s an amazing industry and has incredible rewards. If you love horses, then go for it! You get to work with some of the most beautiful animals in the world, they are just absolutely stunning’.