Shailer's Dedication Rewarded

Date: 4 Aug 2023

Shailer's Dedication Rewarded


NZ Racing News reports:


Nicole Shailer has put in the long hours and hard yards over her career as a Stablehand and Foreman with New Zealand’s leading stable Te Akau Racing and was duly rewarded with not only the title of NZTR’s 2021/22 Stablehand of the Year, but also recently appointed as Te Akau’s assistant trainer.

Shailer was nominated for the Stablehand of the Year Award by long-time employer Te Akau and took out the Northern region Award before taking the overall title for 2021/22.

“That was a massive achievement, obviously to be recognised for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes that people are possible not aware of,” Shailer told SENZ’s The Good Oil.

“Te Akau are so supportive of their staff, they love giving people opportunities so to have my name put forward and then to win it was pretty awesome.”

Shailer, who hails from Feilding, was previously stable Foreman of the Matamata stables ‘middle barn’, which had been home to Group One stars Melody Belle, Avantage and Probabeel during her tenure.

“It’s pretty exciting,” she said. “Obviously it’s a massive step forward, and something I’ve worked really hard on over the years, to be recognised in that position is pretty awesome.”

Shailer had spent time working for other top trainers, including Ken and Bev Kelso, as well as Wexford Stables prior to Te Akau and the experienced horsewoman has embraced her time at the Matamata base.

“We’ve got a lot of staff and we all get along, we’re all dedicated to our jobs and we are treated really well at Te Akau,” she said.

“We’re always having shouts for big days like the 200 wins the other day and we’re well looked after.

“They appreciate the hard work and realise that some days are tougher than others, especially with spring and summer racing when we have a lot of horses going everywhere.”



Shailer’s promotion has come in conjunction with the introduction of Te Akau’s Cranbourne stable, which will commence at the beginning of September and primarily run by head co-trainer Mark Walker, who won a record-breaking 203 races last season.

Although she will continue to be based at the Te Akau’s Matamata stable, Shailer admitted she would love an opportunity to head over the Tasman for smaller trips with some of their Kiwi talent, in particular last season’s Champion Two-Year-Old Maven Belle.

“I put it forward to Mark yesterday that if Maven Belle was to head over, I’d love a little trip over there myself,” she said.

“But it’s going to be all hands on deck back here and with Sam (Bergerson, Te Akau co-trainer) in his first year of training. It’s going to be cool to work alongside him and making sure everything runs smoothly at home at the Matamata base.”

With such vast experience in the industry, Shailer is aware of the time and commitment required to reach a position such as Assistant Trainer, and particularly to be nominated to win the national Stablehand of the year Award, with a love of horses always in the forefront of her mind.

“Work hard, show up and do your best every day, it’s not an easy job and some days the hours can be long but being dedicated and loving your horses is the main thing,” she said.



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