Story from TDN AusNZ

In today’s instalment of 2022/2023 Rapid Reflections, we feature a quickfire round with Emma McCabe, stallion secretary at Kia Ora Stud.

TDN AusNZ: Favourite racing moment of 2022?

Emma McCabe: Watching Nature Strip win the King’s Stand S. at Royal Ascot was my favourite race of the year. For an Australian horse to travel all that distance as the favourite and for him to win in such a dominant fashion against European horses was very impressive to watch.

TDN AusNZ: What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

EMcC: Now that we can all get our travel plans back on track, I plan to travel to America to finally get an insight into how the racing/breeding industry thrives over there. I am also excited to take the next step to see what all the fuss is about and purchase a potential champion at the sales this year.

TDN AusNZ: What was your best purchase in 2022?

EMcC: It would definitely would have to be my first fur-child. I never fancied myself a crazy cat lady, but that little ball of fluff is the reason I get up in the morning.

TDN AusNZ: Favourite binge-worthy television show?

EMcC: I have been obsessed with Home And Away since I was a kid watching it on RTE 1 after school – since coming to Australia six years ago – my obsession has only grown stronger and I am planning a trip to Palm Beach to get a glimpse of the legendary Alf Stewart in the flesh.

TDN AusNZ: Name an emerging human talent in the industry and say why.

EMcC: Without pinpointing someone in the industry, I believe young people coming into the industry are getting more and more enthusiastic. You can clearly see the difference in people who are educating themselves and not afraid to get their hands dirty. That, in itself will stand to anyone who wishes to emerge in this industry.

TDN AusNZ: What has been your favourite post-COVID trip this year?

EMcC: Caulfield Cup Day, regrettably my first time racing in Melbourne but so much fun and will not be my last, for sure.

TDN AusNZ: What positive change would you like to see in the industry in 2023?

EMcC: This year I would like to see the further education to non-industry people about the treatment and rehoming of racehorses who people dedicate their lives to look after. ‘Kick Up’ (created by Kick Collective) have done an amazing job spreading awareness and fighting against mistruths by providing factual evidence of what really goes on behind the scenes. I think this is so important for us as a passionate industry and would love to see more of this positive education going into 2023.

TDN AusNZ: What’s your 2023 New Year’s resolution?

EMcC: I tend stay away from the predictable ‘New Year, New Me’ quote at the end of the year so I am going to stick with ‘Every day’s a school day’ and maybe try to ration my love for Rosé wine.

TDN AusNZ: If you could be someone else in the industry for a day who would it be, and why?

EMcC: It would have to be Gai Waterhouse. Purely because I think it would be a great day’s fun! Her ability to capture the presence of people around her and not take herself too seriously is something I really admire. Not to mention the drive and determination she carries that has made her one of the most successful trainers in Australian racing.

TDN AusNZ: Who is your favourite stallion, and why?

EMcC: So You Think. I always thought he was beautiful. I remember watching back on his races and always saw him as a horse that gave 100 per cent all of the time. I have seen him parade plenty of times and he is such a professional. He walks up to where the crowds are, stands up perfectly, pricks his ears and stands like a statue. I think he fancies himself a bit of a boss and he most certainly is not wrong.

An honourable mention to our boy Prague, who I have a massive soft spot for – for obvious reasons.

TDN AusNZ: Which stallion do you believe is the best physical type?

EMcC: Without being biased, I believe Prague is an outstanding type. He is well-balanced with scope, not to mention his beautiful temperament. He has a lot of presence about him. His athleticism, size and quality are just some of the traits he is continuing to stamp his first crop of foals with. I am looking forward to seeing how they progress going forward.