3 May 1996
Stephanie Hyde-Richards, Equine Assistant at Te Akau Stud.
Stephanie Hyde-Richards: My family has always been animal mad! I’ve been told that I could ride before I could walk. Horses are in our blood – my mum was involved with a riding school, polo ponies and later hunting. She passed that addictive horse gene onto myself and my sisters, and we gave every discipline a go. From eventing, dressage, show jumping, hunting – we just adored being around horses and even managed to rope my younger brother in for the occasional ride. I guess it is no surprise that I have found a career based around them! I first became involved within the racing industry just over four years ago, when I was studying a Bachelor of Science at Waikato University, and desperately needed a job (McDonald’s just wasn’t cutting it). Milan Park in Cambridge took me in with no experience in the industry and taught me the ropes of working on equine stud. From handling to breeding, foal watch and sales work, I learnt so much and am very thankful for the opportunities that they gave me.
“In my 38 years of being involved with the racing industry, I have never met someone who comes to work with a such a huge smile on her face every day,” said David Ellis. “Stephanie is one of the happiest people I know, and no job is ever too much of an ask. She completes every task 110% and has great empathy for her fellow employees and all our animals, not just our horses. She is well liked by everyone here. We are very fortunate to have a such special person like Steph employed at Te Akau.”