HOW do you raise a champion horse?
It’s a question you can put to the Tuncurry trainer, Terry Evans. Terry is the trainer behind recently crowned Mid North Coast Champion Horse of the Year, Arise Augustus.
The title is the culmination of winning seven races this preparation and winning two city races in succession at Canterbury and Randwick.
Terry bought Arise Augustus, who is better known by his stable name Bob, as a one-year-old yearling at the Inglis Classic Sale in Sydney.
As he broke him in, the horse showed ability but Terry said: “It took a while to get him going”.
Bob is shared by a number of owners, including locals Darrin Cornall, Chris Deland and Chris Turner.
Following Bob’s Randwick win his owners, “were just ecstatic”.
“Even the people who do promotions at Randwick racecourse said it’s a pleasure to have a country winner, because we appreciate it so much more.”
Terry keeps most of his training secrets close to his chest, but there’s one secret he’s happy to share around the stables – Bob’s best friend Flash the goat.
“Bob was a bit hyper, introducing Flash into his life calmed him down,” Terry said.
Flash’s calming nature hasn’t just worked its magic on Bob, with the goat often doing the rounds around the stable to visit other horses.
Terry said the horse and goat are basically best friends, “but they still keep each other in line”.
“Bob will let Flash know when he’s had enough of his food.”
Food also plays a major part in Bob’s development with Terry’s wife Julie being a horse nutritionist.
“Every horse we have is on a different diet,” Julie explained.
“They each have different needs at different times, such as when they are at rest compared to when they are at work.”
Julie concentrates on each horse’s diet right from its conception.
Diet in the lead up to a race is energy focused, because as Terry describes, “it’s like a fighter going into a fight”.
Terry and Julie moved to the Great Lakes from the Central Coast eight years ago.
The area’s environment and support from the Tuncurry Forster Jockey Club has played a major part in the couple’s and their horses’ happiness in the area.
“There’s great tracks for the horses to walk on including the beaches,” said Terry.
“It’s like the horses are on holiday.”
Terry trains horse from as far as Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland.
Terry and Julie like to draw in the owners for the race meetings at Tuncurry.
“The club do a fantastic job on race day. It’s good for the area and people are so proud of it.
“When there’s a race meeting on, every motel and every restaurant is booked out. It draws in a lot more money than people think.”
Terry also praises the work of the volunteers at race day, who he said, “make the day”.
Terry is also grateful for his three employees who work at the stables.
“You are only as good as your staff,” he said.
“They each put a lot of effort in.”