Sophie Brown: Watch This Space

By Abby Delucyk

Racing is second nature to 23yr old Sophie Brown. Not even the 3:30am wake ups in the cold or the stress of balancing her full-time role with her own dressage training can take away from Sophie’s love for racing. It’s no wonder she is a trusted junior foreman for Mark Newnham Racing.

Sophie’s love for the racing industry was born through her father who was a professional bookmaker and form analyst with nearly 30 years of experience in the racing industry, being a former racehorse owner himself of ‘Let’s Hurry’. “I clearly remember when I was younger and dad would work from home, I would sit in his office and be like ‘I want to do that (Strapping)’.”

Her love for horses didn’t just stop at the track. “My mum always tells me this story that when I was really young, we went to a show which had pony rides there and I just pointed and said I want to do that”. This led to Sophie constantly begging for a horse. At the age of 8, Sophie started at Vivienne Lander Horse Riding School in which she progressed to get her first thoroughbred ‘Arnie’ at 13 who was a whopping 16.3hh chestnut and then another thoroughbred ‘Wilbur’.

“I would spend every afternoon at the riding school, just helping wherever I could. On the weekend, my mum would drop me off in the morning and wouldn’t come back until the sun had set.”

Sophie and Arnie in 2012

Sophie then went on to attend the prestigious New England Girls School in Armidale, in which her riding skills developed as she rode all kinds of thoroughbreds within the school term. It was around this time Sophie acquired another OTTB ‘Frankie’ as she realised that show jumping just wasn’t the discipline for her. “Up until I was 14, I was a keen showjumper but one day I rode a horse that was more trained for dressage, and I instantly feel in love with it. Dressage is a lot more complicated than it seems as you really have to practice, with it being more of a test”.

With Sophie finding her niche in dressage, she went on to progress to advanced dressage lessons with her recent addition of a warmblood ‘Dino’, honing her dressage skills at clinics led by Olympic legend Heath Ryan. Sophie has recently undertaken a new challenge of training a young 5yo warmblood ‘Bella’ to be a future ribbon – winning dressage horse.  

It was towards the end of 2018 where Sophie became highly interested in pursuing a career in the racing industry. This career choice started when she was offered a job as a stable hand for a small trainer in Orange who only had 6 horses to manage, with this smaller environment allowing her to learn the ropes of working with racehorses and travel around rural NSW. Unfortunately, due to the small number of horses, Sophie was forced out of her job 2 years later and relocated to the Hawkesbury region, leaving her to print off flyers and send off ads in seek of employment. A bite came back from Mark Newnham himself, who met her at a Hawkesbury race meeting days later to offer her the position of a stable hand. “I always wanted to go somewhere where the trainers are hands on and can learn from them personally, which Mark is like. He always takes the time to check in with his staff and spends time training you.” With her love of her job allowing her to push past the stark early morning wake ups, Sophie quickly progressed to becoming a Junior Foreman for Mark Newnham, taking up the initiative of travelling with his racehorses to places such as Melbourne and Queensland for race meetings. “I feel so honoured knowing that Mark trusts me enough that he can rely on me to travel with his horses to different race meetings. It’s a big step in my career”.

Sophie leading Seven Veils out at Royal Randwick for the Reisling Stakes. Credit: Ashlea Brennan

Her career has also allowed her to be a part of the journey of successful races horses such as tacking up Seven Veils which went on to win a Group 2 race and qualified for the $5 million Golden Slipper. “I feel like a such a proud mum when any horse wins a race, even a maiden start at Hawkesbury. You see them when they arrive as little yearlings to winning racehorses, it’s like they become your children”.

Between balancing her dressage training and her full-time job as a Junior Foreman, Sophie is also completing her Cert III in Stable Hand with Team Thoroughbred’s Training Academy. “I think it is worth it for someone who is just coming into the racing industry as it allows you to brush up on your skills and learn the things you need to know before you progress further into your career”.

With this qualification behind her, Sophie aims to eventually become a foreman. It’s her long-term ambition to be a trainer herself with the goal being a small stable of a few racehorses. Career aspirations aside, Sophie also has a promising dressage future with the potential of competing ‘Bella’ soon to become a dressage champion. “Working in the racing industry has given me much more confidence to have a younger horse and bring them through as you witness their progression

Sophie leading Greysful Glamour out at Royal Randwick for the Villiers Stakes

Careers Corner – August 2022 Edition

Hello and welcome to the August 2022 edition of Careers Corner, the monthly e-newsletter of Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy. Thanks for subscribing and being part of our community of racing enthusiasts. Each month we will bring you the latest news from the Training Academy, information on upcoming events, careers in the racing industry, courses available and more.


It is no secret that Jess Castle was born for the Racing industry. Between her schedule of retraining multiple off the track Thoroughbreds, earning ribbons in showing on behalf of clients, completing a Certificate IV in Racing (Racehorse Trainer) with Team Thoroughbred’s Training Academy and working as a Foreperson for Kristen Buchanan at Wyong, it’s no surprise that passion drives Jess’ day.

Read the inspiring story here.

Jess and her 10yo DPKingdom being crowned Champion off the track Thoroughbred


Certificate II in Racing Industry (Stablehand)

Certificate III in Racing (Stablehand)

Certificate III in Racing (Trackwork Rider)

Certificate IV in Racing (Racehorse Trainer)

Certificate IV in Racing (Jockey)

Certificate III in Racing Services (Racing Administration)

Find Out More Here


Congratulations to:

CAMILLE HOULGATTE who won her first race at Scone last Monday, riding Captain Wise for Paul Perry.

View her race here

ROCHELLE WEDRAT-KROEZEN who won her first race at Goulburn last weekend, riding Smuggler’s Bay for Ron Weston & John Nisbet.

View her race here

ZARA CASTELLAZ – FAICO who won her first race at Gundagai on Monday, riding Crazy Ladies for Pat Murphy.

View her race here


Haylee strapping one of her favourite horses ‘Selburose’

Name – Haylee Grech

Age – 23

About me – I’m a passionate dressage rider with a love for working with horses.

I’ve been working with horses for around 8 years and I’ve been in the racing industry for almost 4 years now.

Future Career Aspirations – I have a big love for marketing and business so I would love to be able to venture down the path of this within the racing world.

Instagram handle – @Hayleegr1999


Look out for the Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy Tent and Come say hi!

2, 3, 4th August –Thoroughbred Breeders NSW Leadership Course

Wagga Wagga 9.30am to 3.30pm


8, 9, 10th August – Thoroughbred Breeders NSW Leadership Course

Warwick Farm  9.30am – 3.30pm


15 September KARI Foundation Employment Expo

Liverpool Catholic Club

28th September Racing Industry MAE Showcase Day For Women

Newcastle Racecourse 9.30am – 2pm

SIGN UP HERE: showcase-day-tickets-374115187597


Ever thought about a career in the racing industry? Here is a list of career options available:


Jockeys, Stablehands, Trackwork Riders, Racehorse Trainers, Breeders


Accountants, Communications, Computer Technicians, Handicappers, Insurance Brokers, Judges, Legal Services, Newsagents, Photo Finish Technician, Security Firms, Solicitors, Starters, Stewards


Agistment Farms, Auctioneers, Breeders, Stud Masters


Event Management, Racecourse Hospitality


Ambulance Officers, Barrier Attendants, Bookmakers, Builders & Tradespersons, Carpark Attendants, Chefs, Clerk Of Course, Clerk Of Scales, Doctors, Gardeners, Hospitality, TAB Personnel


Chiropractors, Float Drivers, Float/Coach Builders, Horse Shoe Manufacturers, Mechanics, Produce Suppliers, Saddlers, Transport Operators Technicians, Vehicle Suppliers, Veterinarians, Veterinary Suppliers


Journalists, Printers, TV Camera Staff, Photographer


  1. Visit to find a job that would suit you
  2. Email us at to find a course that’s right for you
  3. Study while you earn


Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy is a Registered Training Organisation (Code: 45565) providing high-quality training to learners in Australia.

Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy has access to modern, up to date facilities, and boasts a team of qualified and dedicated Trainers.

Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy is responsible under its registration with the Australian Skills Quality Authority for the quality of the training and assessment being delivered on your chosen course and is also responsible for the issuance of any AQF certificate that may result based on your achievement of the course requirements.

Scone Campus

Copyright © Racing NSW, All rights reserved.