By Abby Delucyk
At the age of 15, teenagers typically get their first job in a café or retail. But Tjanara Bolt changed this narrative when she secured her first job mucking out boxes for the legendary Gai Waterhouse.
Bolt grew up riding in the picturesque Hunter region on her uncle and auntie’s property which homed off the track Thoroughbreds. Despite this, she never competed in equestrian sports.
“I still remember the first time I rode a horse which was such a great but painful experience as my body wasn’t use to riding yet,” Bolt said.
Her love for horses has never wavered. Throughout the years, she balanced her school life around her weekend stable hand job at the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott stable.
“I started to understand what working was like and was earning money for my independence. I always wanted to work with horses growing up so when I moved to the city, the stables were the closest thing I could get to this dream,” she said.
After earning her stripes with Gai Waterhouse, Tjanara moved on to Mark Newnham’s stable where she developed her skills before her journey led her to Chris Waller’s Rosehill stable.
“I just emailed my resume and experience to Chris’ stable and got the job through there. Working for someone so high up in the racing industry is a really good experience and I have learnt a lot through the opportunities he has given me.
“I love how I can have one on one time with each of the horses and also be hands on with them,” she said.
Her favourite horse in Waller’s stable is 4yo gelding Mighty Willie, who was the first male horse she strapped and believes he has a promising racing career ahead of him.
Despite the love she has for her job, Nara doesn’t shy away from discussing the challenges involved. These involve early mornings and hard physical labour of having to prepare the horses.
Nara also faces the challenge of being a female in a male-dominated industry, as she says; “People think that females aren’t able to do the work but when you prove them wrong, it makes you more confident.”
Although the work is tough, Nara’s favourite aspect of her role is travelling around NSW to take different horses to race meetings such as her favourite track, Kembla Grange.
Her love for travelling also fuels her dream of wanting to go international to experience racing in various countries and become a qualified racehorse trainer.