Autumn Carnival Awards
Clare Heuston named as Sydney Strapper of the Year 2020-2021
Clare has been with Chris Waller Racing for 12 years and is a foreman for a barn at the Rosehill stables where she oversees the welfare and day to day health and wellbeing of these horses. She also has a number of young horses in her barn and her experience and horse management ensures a smooth transition into the stable, as well as ensures the horses continue to be well educated. Clare is more than capable of taking any horse to the races to strap whether it be a filly, or a colt or a relaxed, or highly strung horse but this is often overshadowed by her foreman roles at the provincials.
Not only is she one of the longer serving staff members having been a barn foreman for a number of years, but she also has the thankless job of cleaning, ironing, sorting and ensure the right colours go to the races for each horse. As you will be aware, I have this season alone in NSW had over 1000 runners and for one person to be in charge of all of those colours is something that I really take my hat off to. Writing this I realise how tiresome this job must be and yet when Clare goes on holiday, she still drives into the stable to deliver the clean colours for race day and collects the dirty colours to be washed. Our colours, without question are always spotless, creaseless and in impeccable order.
Not only does Clare have to worry about the colours, but she also ensures that the right gear is packed into the race day bag as well as each horse’s bridle having attached the relevant gear it requires to ensure that the strappers job is as easy as possible. She also packs a couple of bags of lollies into the colours bag for the jockeys to eat whilst they are wasting in the jockey’s room which is simply out of her own pocket and kindness.
Clare also represents myself on race day as a foreperson and is more than happy to stand down from her foreman duties and strap in the Metropolitan area. She truly loved one of the all-time stable favourites in Catkins and looked after her incredibly well during her fantastic career.
(The Sydney Strapper of the Year Award is sponsored by Racing NSW and coordinated by Australian Racing Christian Chaplaincy. It is presented at the NSW Racehorse Owners Association “Night of Champions”. The winner is selected by Racing NSW judges from a group of very worthy finalists.)