Te Akau Team Member of the Quarter

Date: 12 Jul 2022

Te Akau Team Member of the Quarter

 

Te Akau is proud to recognise its latest Team Member of the Quarter - Jenny Jackson - who we are also delighted to announce has been appointed to the role of Business Manager for the Te Akau operation.

 

Originally from Australia, Jenny Jackson initially worked as a highly valued member of the Te Akau Stud administration team in 1996 before leaving to start a family with her Te Akau born and bred husband John, and they have three now adult children, Hugh, Charlie and Sarah.

 

Jenny returned to the administrative role for a short time in 2011 and again in 2016 on a part-time basis, which developed in to a full time position in recent times.  In recognition of her in-depth understanding of, and experience in, the Te Akau operation, Jenny has been pointed to the role of Business Manager - she brings a brilliant skill set to her new role as well.

“It was unexpected and very surprising,” she said, on hearing the news she is also Te Akau's latest "Team Member of the Quarter".

Jenny is one for those remarkable individuals that help rural communities thrive and flourish.  She has recently been sworn in as a JP (Justice of the Peace) and for four years been a member of the Te Akau Volunteer Fire Brigade.

“I had been secretary of the fire brigade for a lot longer and we have always struggled to find volunteers.

“I'm not particularly big and strong (she is strong by the way), but there is always something that people of all shapes and sizes can do to be useful.

“It is fulfilling to help people when they're really in need, and to actually be able to contribute energy and action to assist the community in which we live.

“We used to have quite a few JPs in our district, but many have retired and moved out of the area. Our current JP, Mike Crosby, is the local mechanic and just an amazing human being.  Mike is in his late 70s and I'm able to use him as a sounding board. A lot of the work is witnessing documents and given we're quite a way from town it's good to have someone locally.”

Jenny is enjoying being able to work full-time at Te Akau Stud.

“It's a really exciting company to work for and I have huge admiration for both David and Karyn. I think it's just incredible what they do and the joy that they give people through thoroughbred racing.  I love my connection with our owners, and always enjoy catching up with them, and seeing their success.

“It doesn't always go well, but that's racing. The highs are really high and the lows can be tough, but no two days are ever the same.  There are always new horses being purchased, new owners coming in, and there's never a dull moment.

“I really enjoy it when owners come to look at their horses here, because it does mean we get to meet them.

“I'm not a hands-on horsewoman, but follow the races and I have taken a share in the Headwater filly that David bought this year at Karaka. She looks amazing and fingers crossed we see her racing.

“Karyn put a ladies syndicate together in the filly and we have already enjoyed two social events, firstly to meet our new filly at Te Akau Stud and then we had a luncheon at the Pukekohe races where quite a few of her owners went.  Karyn organised two tables and Shanti (Brown), Susan (Carter), and I went up from the office.

 

 

“We do all the accounting here at the stud, for Te Akau New Zealand and Te Akau Singapore. For us to be able to do that we have to have a very close relationship with the girls in the stable offices, and Mark (Walker, trainer), at Matamata.

“Having Emma (Hyde-Richards) in the Matamata stable office now is great because I've worked with her here and she understands how things work in both offices. That's a real bonus.

“We have a very good team of staff (bloodstock and livestock) here at the farm and everyone gets on with each other really well.  They all love the horses and love keeping tabs on them, after seeing them improve and strengthen while they're out here.

“As a group, we do go to the races, particularly at Te Rapa, and it's awesome to see those racing that have been bought as yearlings, broken in, named, and everything that goes into making racehorses.

“Especially on those day, you feel like you're part of everything that goes into it and it's a business that's all encompassing.

“We're all striving for the same goal to be the best.”

David Ellis CNZM commented:

"We just love having Jenny as part of the team.  We have been friends and colleagues for over two decades and I have loved watching her family all grow into fine young New bZealanders.  She and John are wonderful parents.

"Jenny is one of those people you really enjoy having in the team - she's so professional and organised, she's talented and smart, loyal and fastidious and very dedicated to her role.  We know she will be an outstanding Business manager as she works so closely with us all in taking Te Akau to the next level."

And when Jenny takes a holiday…

“John and I usually head for somewhere that is built up, which is the complete opposite of what most city people want to do,” she said.

“For us, it's quite a novelty to buy a coffee and sit and watch people walk past because we can't do that out here.”

 

 

David and Karyn developed the Te Akau Team Member Award to recognise our amazing people who are passionate and committed to Te Akau - the winner each quarter receives a cash bonus.

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