Nicole Shailer

Te Akau NZ Assistant Trainer

Nicole Shailer, Te Akau senior stable foreperson, was appointed to the role of New Zealand Assistant Trainer, from the start of the new 2023/24 season.

Nicole has had a lifetime career working with horses and is a highly experienced professional.  This was recognised in 2022 when she was named New Zealand Stablehand of the Year at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s Horse of the Year awards, having previously been named as one of three national finalists. She was also recognised as our Team Member Of The Quarter in 2020.

A dedicated and passionate member of the Te Akau team, Nicole spent six years as a senior foreperson for the stable, managing the Middle Barn at our Matamata stable. Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM sees this promotion as a natural progression in her career:

“Nicole has been a great asset as a senior foreperson and we’re proud to appoint her to the position of Assistant Trainer for our New Zealand stable,” Ellis said.  “She has had horses such Avantage, Melody Belle and Probabeel under her care, and her attention to detail is exemplary.

“Nicole is a true professional, and always delivers to an exceptional standard in every aspect of her role. Importantly, as with Sam Bergerson before her, she brings strong leadership attributes to the position, and is also especially skilled in developing and nurturing younger team members.

“This appointment is a timely and thoroughly well-earned step in her career. We like to promote loyal team members, with world class skills, and she has proven her value in every area of the operation. She’s excited about the opportunity and we know she will give it her all, that’s who she is.”

Since being back at the helm, record-setting trainer Mark Walker has worked closely with Nicole and endorses her appointment as Assistant Trainer.

“Nicole’s got a phenomenal work ethic, and is an outstanding all-round horse person. She’s brilliant at teaching newcomers to the team, and is a great mentor – she has the ability to bring people up to another level.

“Anyone we need to teach, we place them with Nicole and we soon see a big difference. They are able to increase their responsibilities and take the next step themselves – it’s a privilege to have Nicole on the team.”

Nicole is the epitome of dedication when it comes to dealing with horses and we are privileged to have a person of her passion and experience in our management team. She has a key role to play within our management team, supporting Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, and fostering our young talent.

Nicole Shailer

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