Super Proud of Our Nicole

Date: 31 Aug 2022

Super Proud of Our Nicole


Representing the Northern area, Te Akau's Nicole Shailer is one of three finalists for the New Zealand Stable-Hand of the Year Award which is announced on Sunday night at the New Zealand Horse of the Year Awards in Hamilton.

Nicole is recognised as a senior team member at Te Akau, known for her genuine love of horses, going the extra mile for their care and wellbeing, and being generous with her time and imparting advice to help others, especially younger team members, learn.

One of her favourite horses in the 'Middle Barn' that she manages is Maven Belle, a nominee for the Champion Two-Year-Old of the Year award.

A Te Akau homebred filly, Maven Belle (3 f Burgundy - Doyenne, by Kilimanjaro) was bred by David Ellis CNZM, Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM, and Mark Walker.  She is owned by the Te Akau Maven Belle Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis) after shares were offered in her as a weanling to Te Akau owners.

With size, quality, class, presence, and the temperament to match, Maven Belle packed plenty into a 12-week two-year-old campaign that took her from debut winner to Group One winner.

She became the seventh Matamata Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) winner for Te Akau, finished third in the Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), and ended her season making it five in a row for the stable in the Sires' Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m).



Nicole also had plenty to do with stable stars Melody Belle (Commands), a dual NZ Horse of the Year, and Avantage (Fastnet Rock), who between them won 23 Group One races, and reigning NZ Horse of the Year Probabeel (Savabeel), winner of four Group One races in Australia. Probabeel is also a finalist for Sunday's awards, in the Champion Middle Distance Horse of the Year category.

When previously winning a Team Member of the Month Award, Nicole said:

“I've never worked for a stable like Te Akau before. I think the way we are treated is second to none. Obviously, the same for the owners with communications and our horses don't want for anything. They've got the best possible care from staff, vets, farriers, equipment, walkers, treadmills, and the facilities at the Matamata racecourse are great.



“I started in the racing industry when I was 15 years old and have always loved the horses.”

Ashley Handley took the overall honours last year for Te Akau, after spending considerable time away from home while looking after horses in Australia. Included in her care was Probabeel (Savabeel), purchased as a yearling by David Ellis CNZM at Karaka, owned by Brendan Lindsay MNZM & Jo Lindsay (Cambridge Stud), winner of four Group One races in Australia and, as mentioned, reigning New Zealand Horse of the Year.



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