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Te Akau: Team Members of the Month

29 Mar 2013

Te Akau: Team Members of the Month

A lovely couple far from home are enjoying their time with Te Akau in New Zealand.

Istanbul natives Kivanc and Dumla Tusyuz, both 26, have been Te Akau team members for nearly a year. Kivanc’s first interest in thoroughbred racing came as a teenager and he has dedicated the last ten years to the industry. “I liked watching racing and decided to work in a stable and learn to ride.” He spent a year as an apprentice in Istanbul and soon decided to learn more about racing by working abroad.

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Kivanc’s first adventure overseas was to the Melbourne stable of David Hayes where he spent a year gaining a new perspective and improving his English. Strong family ties pulled him back to Turkey before he and wife Dumla decided to venture to New Zealand for another stint overseas. “I like Te Akau because the horses have good families and they are well behaved. The horses are happy when they get to go in the paddocks. I have time for Spellbinder (O’Reilly x Scenic Sprint) because she is talented and quiet to ride.”

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New Zealand would be Dumla’s first experience working with horses. “She likes animals, is very caring and enjoys the horses and being outside. Dumla has learned a lot this year because she worked in an office in Istanbul- it’s very different, “says Kivanc. Dumla particularly favoured Clutha Lad (now in our Singapore stable) because he “has a nice nature and is very sweet.” Recent 2 year old winner Ruthless Lady (Keeper x Lady Dehere) now holds top spot for Dumla.

Kivanc likens Turkish racing to Singapore racing in that it is strictly city based (6 tracks in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir), where horses are confined to their boxes and races are conducted on a variety of surfaces (dirt, synthetic and grass) for good prize money (maidens run for $35,000). The Gazi is Turkey’s feature race, run in Istanbul, a Group One for 3 year olds over 2400m “that everyone wants to win, it’s like our Derby” says Kivanc.

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Kivanc and Dumla are hard workers that have aspirations upon their return to Istanbul. Kivanc wants to further hone his trade and take the step into training in the near future. Istanbul is home and the hardest part about living abroad for the couple is being separated from family. “When we are not working we like going to the beach and Skyping with family, we normally go to the beach with family.”

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Story and picture credit – Stacey Akers

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