2014 Finalists

Strapper of the Year

2014 Finalists

The six finalists for the award are:

George Tucker  (Chris Waller stable)

George is highly regarded amongst his peers for his laid-back and casual demeanour, his soft and gentle care of horses and his dry sense of humour. He is ever-reliable, always positive and nothing is ever too much hassle or work. One of George’s specialties and most valuable asset is his uncanny ability to settle hard-to-handle horses. He is always given the more difficult individuals until they become easier to handle and then are quite often replaced with new “projects”. The stable just wouldn’t be the same without his slow and steady approach.

Chetan Kumar (David Payne stable)

Chetan Kumar is an outstanding character with exceptional horse handling skills.  The presentation of his horses is always top class and he makes every effort to see that his horses are calm and relaxed.  His dedication and excellent work ethic are not just a great example to his fellow workers, but lead to him making a deep and impressive impact on all he encounters.

Melinda Norton  (Gai Waterhouse stable)

Melinda Norton is a highly talented and qualified horsewoman. Her dedication to the horses in her care transpires into raceday results. Mel also has a great ability to pass on her knowledge to the younger staff starting out.  She is a dedicated and loyal employee and a tremendous asset to the running of the Waterhouse stables.

Daljit Singh  (David Vandyke stable)

Daljit has the rare ability to connect with a horse and help it to find confidence in it’s handler and relax. His first consideration is for the horse and he has been given some of the most difficult horses to look after on race day. Whether a horse requires constant walking, a change of stall, hosing, rugging, personal attention (talking to and patting) – he identifies the needs and takes action. He leaves his own personal needs behind as he becomes consumed with his task and the needs of the horses. A classic example of this was his work with “Breakfast In Bed” who was a difficult, nervous horse who would sweat, bite and kick at the races. Daljit showed unconditional love to her and gave her a safe person to find comfort. He changed her personality at the races which was a great joy to witness. Daljit always looks smart. He is polite, a good communicator and owners enjoy interacting with him as he cares for their horse.

Erica McMahon (Grahame Begg stable)

Erica is a very reliable and important part of the Begg stables.  She knows her horses inside out and her attention to detail and love for her horses are remarkable. Erica has always gone above and beyond her duties, and is extremely loyal and supportive towards her fellow stablehands. Now with a young toddler to care for, Erica displays tremendous dedication in juggling the demands of motherhood with the early start and awkward hours required in being a stablehand.

Sharyn Newby  (Gary Portelli stable)

Sharyn has a most pleasant personality and is able to handle any horse from stallions to the babies.  She is always well presented and is a leader in every way, looked up to by her fellow staff and modelling a high standard to aspire to. Sharyn has that rare ability to blend caring and professionalism, not just in her work, but in life in general.

Congratulations to all the finalists!


2013Glenn BARNESChris Waller
2012Skye SMALLEYGuy Walter
2011Michael DOOLANPeter Snowden
2010Melissa WILLIAMSJohn O’Shea