By Abby Delucyk
With the last name Howlett, it’s no surprise Macey has found her way in the Racing industry. Taking after her trainer father Todd Howlett, Macey shares in the love of horses by managing her time between retraining her own off the track Thoroughbreds and riding trackwork for her father’s stable.
Macey Howlett has always been a keen lover of horses and racing being thrown horseback at a young age with the influence and success of her father contributing to her passion of horses. She joined Singleton Pony Club at age 2 to begin riding lessons, entering her first competition at just 3 years of age. “With dad being a trainer, I have always just been around horses which made me really get into Pony club at a young age giving every discipline a go.”
This newfound interest in riding continued to grow, with Macey getting her first horse when she was 3, a mare called ‘Brandy’. She has since added to her collection to include 2 off the track Thoroughbreds, Roy’s Command and Undemocratic who once raced under the Todd Howlett name. “I’ve always loved these horses so the owners decided to give them to me once they retired from racing, allowing me to retrain them myself.”
Eight-year-old gelding Roy’s Command, the stable favourite, and Macey developed a special bond throughout his racing career with Macey strapping him at most of his races and riding him around the farm when she could. “He is a really easy going and a cool horse, being easy to handle and retrain.” This special bond has since grown with Macey leading his retraining, putting him through hours of desensitising activities and honing in on their eventing and show jumping skills for upcoming competitions.
“The first eventing competition I took Roy’s Command to in Quirindi we won! He was still very ‘racehorse minded’ but has definitely improved.” The duo has since significantly progressed in their training and competitions, before lockdowns and the recent weather chaos halted their competition stride.
After pushing past the struggle of the early mornings, Macey began to invest more of her time into learning the ropes of her dad’s stable, leaving her love for racing to overtake her desire to be at school. With her foot already in the door thanks to her dad and her own efforts Macey decided to leave school in year 10, transitioning smoothly from being a student to a full-time track work rider.
“I would wake up early before school and ride as well as spending my weekends helping dad. He wasn’t too happy about me leaving school, but I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do so it was pretty easy to move as I always knew I was going to work there and it was helpful knowing everyone already within the industry.”
With not having to deal with the pressure of school anymore, Macey now fills her days with waking up before the sun to ride track work before returning home to develop her own equestrian skills with her 2 boys. With upcoming competitions in mind, Macey has her eyes set on adding to her ribbon collection with 5yo Undemocratic who she plans to use for eventing competitions.
Between balancing her own retraining efforts and trusted role as a track work rider, Macey is also completing her Certificate III in Racing (Trackwork Rider) with the Team Thoroughbred NSW Training Academy. With this qualification behind her, Macey dreams to keep the Howlett legacy alive within the racing industry by becoming a racehorse trainer herself taking over the stable in the future. “I’m not 100% set on it but I know I want to continue working with horses”.
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