Employment

Working at Spendthrift

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Spendthrift Australia is deep in the heart of the Macedon Ranges, in the beautiful heritage district of Romsey. The farm is less than an hour north of Melbourne, located in a region famous for its nature, history and cellar doors. There is a food festival every November and a gin distillery down the road, while farmers’ markets and wineries bring visitors year-round.

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THE FARM

You’ll find us along Mount Eliza Road, 600 acres of grazing in the best horse-country Victoria has to offer. We have up to 120 horses on property throughout the year, of which there are currently five stallions through the breeding months and 50 mares foaling-down. In operation since as recently as 2015, the farm is constantly investing in its future and improving its infrastructure, with positive impacts on both local business and community. It’s an uplifting place to work. We boast high staff-retention, with positions available on a permanent and seasonal basis. And we’re told that our awesomeness is pretty high, too!

SPENDTHRIFT PERKS

Job satisfaction is important to us here at Spendthrift - that’s just one reason we have some of the best staff retention rates in the industry. We have an enjoyable working environment with beautiful surrounds, excellent staff and some of the most exciting bloodstock in Australia.

But there’s more! We are a global company, with the parent farm located just outside Lexington, Kentucky. This provides potential for international career exposure, enjoying the experience of travelling and working in two locations.

In 2018, we embarked on a partnership with Werribee Racing Club, giving us naming rights to Werribee racecourse. Spendthrift Australia Park is an hour’s drive south of the farm, and a fun day-out for the team.

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From the Horse's mouth

Hannah Simon - Stud Hand

What does a normal day look like at Spendthrift for you?

Cleaning boxes and yards, bringing in mares for vetting, and helping with vetting. I feed the yearlings on some mornings and afternoons and sometimes helping with the farrier. I can also be on the mower or whipper snipper and wash the odd water trough or two.

How does this vary in and out of the breeding season?

During the busiest time of the breeding season, there are more boxes and yards to do and more horses for vetting or covers, so I'm mostly in the barn.

As the breeding season comes to a finish and it's quieter (fewer horse jobs), I'm on the mower or whipper snipper for a good part of the day.

What is your favorite part of the role?

The variety. While I love working with horses, sometimes it's nice to jump on the mower or do other non-horsey jobs to break up the day. There is always something new to learn, and you can't forget the cute foals!

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work?

The friendly faces - everyone is willing to lend a hand or offer some great advice you can learn from! There is always an opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Again, the variety, there is always something different to do.

Rachael Cavanagh – Stallion Groom

What does a normal day look like at Spendthrift for you?

There isn’t really a normal day at Spendthrift, we are always doing something different. The horse work is generally the same, in that we turn the boys out in the morning, do the boxes and clean the barn, bring them in in the arvo, groom them, feed them, and put them to bed.

It’s the time in between the horses being out that varies day today. Some days we are mowing and doing general gardening, other days I can be helping the farm crew in the bob cat or slashing paddocks.

How does this vary in and out of the breeding season?

The major difference between in and out of the season for my day is out of the season means more time to mow, or like in the last off-season I painted the stallion barn.

What is your favorite part of the role?

The best part of my job is that we never know how we are going to spend the day. There is no Groundhog Day feeling, it’s always interesting and I’m always learning new skills.

Working with Gold Standard every day makes it a pretty good gig too!

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work?

The team makes the farm, it’s a wonderful group to work with.

I reckon we have two of the best managers around in Garry and Grant. We’re not just a workplace or a job, we are like a family. All of the departments help one another and if someone’s stuck you never have to look far for a hand to help.

Daniel Bird – Farm and Maintenance Manager

What does a normal day look like at Spendthrift for you?

Lots of phone calls, managing contractors and staff, vehicle service and repairs, pasture rejuvenation, and if I’m lucky I get to relax and operate some of the machines.

How does this vary in and out of the breeding season?

The breeding season is also the busy time on the farm side. Spring brings warmer days and pasture growth, so there is lots of slashing and spraying which in turn means more regular maintenance on the tractor and implements.

What is your favorite part of the role?

My favorite part of the role is being able to experience working in many different fields as the farm has been growing. These include farming, earthmoving, plumbing, building, fabrication, welding, and operating all kinds of machinery.

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work?

The staff, location, reputation, and sense of pride of being able to work for a new farm that’s really making an impact.

Gonzalo Velazquez – Stallion Groom

What does a normal day look like at Spendthrift for you?

During the breeding season in a normal day, we start at 6am mucking up the boxes as soon as we arrive to the barn. After that, we set up everything to start with the covers (mare’s crush, breeding shed, lab). We usually have three breeding shifts - morning, lunch time, and afternoon, but from time to time we also have a night-time cover.

After the first shift of covers, we take the stallions to theirs paddocks and we do a deep clean of the barn. Between one shift and the next one, we usually do some maintenance work, such as mowing, picking up branches, driving tractors, bobcats, to keep the farm looking nice throughout the year.

After lunch, we take the stallions back into the boxes, we groom them, and after the last cover of the day we get them fed. We then clean the barn and get everything ready for the next day.

How does this vary in and out of the breeding season?

During the off season, we start working at 8am. The first thing we do is to take the stallions out to their paddocks and then clean the barn. Since the mare covers are over, there are less horse-related jobs and more maintenance works.

What is your favourite part of the role?

One of my favourite parts of the role is taking the stallions to their paddocks. I think you learn a lot about their behaviour when you walk with a horse every day - such as how he reacts every time you do a movement with the lead or with your hands, what is he scared of, and he learns about you as well.

I think that’s the best moment you have to build a good relationship with the horse you’re looking after.

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work?

Spendthrift is managed by professional and experienced people. The people are tolerant, respectful and comprehensive, and always trying to teach you and make you a better worker every time you make a mistake. You work in a professional, but relaxed environment.

The farm itself is an awesome looking farm, which grows and looks better every year.
You always get everything you need to work comfortable (clothes, vehicles, etc). I think Spendthrift is a great place to work.

Steven Toole - Stallion Manager

What does a normal day look like at Spendthrift for you?

A normal day for me during the breeding season is trying to keep the stallions fit and well, so they are able to breed efficiently to achieve those early pregnancies. Alongside this, the stallion crew and I maintain our area to keep it as neat and tidy as possible.

How does this vary in and out of the breeding season?

In the off-season things are a lot quieter, so you can often find me in the horse truck. The last few years during the off-season we’ve planted a lot of trees and built a parade area.

What is your favorite part of the role?

The variety in my day. It can go from running a breeding shed, to trimming a hedge, then parading Overshare and then back to operating the bobcat.

Also, to be able to help teach the younger stallion grooms some of those skills and to see them show so much interest and enjoy their days at work - that’s the fun for me these days!

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work?

For myself, Spendthrift is about the prettiest farm I’ve ever seen. It is surrounded by mountains and green pastures, almost year-round.

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work is the laid back, but professional environment, making it a great place for developing young staff. The growth of such a young farm in Victoria makes the future very exciting, which I’m sure the breeders would also agree with.

Josh Rix - Head of Nominations

What does a normal day look like at Spendthrift for you?

Not sure there is a normal day.

It could be anything from attending the numerous horse sales around the country each year to visiting client farms to see their mares and foals. We could be hosting breeders at the farm to view our stallions or walking trainers through our paddocks to view our yearlings.

Other days I might be in the office looking at pedigrees and completing nickings for clients and their mares.

How does this vary in and out of the breeding season?

The first half of the year is more travel and lots of sales. The second half of the year is more visiting client farms and being around Spendthrift showing stallions.

What is your favorite part of the role?

Getting to know the Thoroughbred Breeders who are so passionate about the horses and the industry.

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work?

Being there from pretty much the beginning, and seeing the farm develop from the ground up. Working for a company that is aiming at being a success, but always has the breeders’ interests first in mind and trying to help them share in the success.

Sally Warner - Administration and Bookings Secretary

What does a normal day look like at Spendthrift for you?

A normal day is talking to clients and walk-on farms, slotting mares for cover, sending out and chasing paperwork, and organizing bits and pieces for the new builds we have in action.

How does this vary in and out of the breeding season?

The season is super busy - the phone never stops. There is just so much to do!

I love when January rolls around and we can take a breath, and catch up on all the things put on hold during the season.

What is your favorite part of the role?

The best part of my role is hearing how happy clients are with their foals, or a positive pregnancy result. I talk to a lot of lovely people in my job.

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work?

We have a really positive team, with a common-sense approach. We all try to do the best we can for each other, our company, and our clients. I look forward to welcoming more clients and visitors in 2021.

Matt Jones - Stallions and Farm Maintenance

What does a normal day look like at Spendthrift for you?

At the moment, I am busy topping all of the pasture paddocks. We complete all of the maintenance on the farm machinery - it is important to keep this up to date.

How does this vary in and out of the breeding season?

During the breeding season, I hold most of the mares in the covering shed whilst being bred. Once the covering season is complete, I head back to the maintenance side of the farm.

What is your favorite part of the role?

Holding the mares whilst they are being covered and operating all different kinds of machinery.

What makes Spendthrift a great place to work?

A happy working environment that is managed by great people.

If you’re interested in working at Spendthrift Australia, please drop us a note below: