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Posted 2017-09-04 09:38:53  
LADIES IN RACING –JENNY VAN DER HOFF

SA Horseracing recently took time out to catch up with Bloodstock South Africa’s Jenny Van Der Hoff, who told us about her background, her current job and what changes she would like made in the racing industry.

Are you from a racing family? My uncle bred on a small scale in Mooi River (Challis Shead) where the great Tiger Fish stood till his last. I was always keen but wisely my family played it down.

How did you get into racing? I did specimen collecting and horse ID’ing for the NHA and was a starter at Kenilworth – the horse industry is small – riding leads to racing I guess. I was DC of the Durbanville Pony Club for 7 years.

What is your current position? General factotum!! Actually the letter head stated – Stable Manager – however you can call me anything – just don’t call me late for lunch!

What does your job entail? From handing out toilet paper to changing drips!!! First aid for grooms and horses. Stable allocations for the catalogued horses, following up with registrations (I work very closely with the NHA), checking all horse ID and health on arrivals- sorting to correct stable – , calling the standby vets when needed, yard and staff management(manure, provisions etc), and general networking with all the role players and departments where the horse has contact. Eg movement in terms of AHS.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you/been a mentor in this industry? Lionel Cohen and many many grooms – whose dedication and passion as commendable.

How long have you worked at BSA and are you involved in any other part of racing? I’ve been with BSA since October 2014. –I help out with race day horse ambulance when needed – and generally am available to assist wherever.

What are some of your past working experiences in the industry? Horse ID’ng, specimen collecting and starter, general yard managing.

Have you worked in other industries prior to getting involved in racing/breeding? I studied pharmacy before joining SAA as a flight attendant in 1984. I joined SAA for 2 years and left 13 years later – where I spent time not only abroad – but in Training and development. – I have spent the best part of 12 years researching flies – in order to design a functional eco friendly fly trap – and have a business where I consult in fly management – using my traps, environmental beneficial microbes and natural predators of the fly. Also spent time in the polo industry managing strings of ponies and worked in tack retail.

What is your favourite part of your job? Knowing that an honest days work was done, and somewhere a difference may have been made- no matter how small.

What is your worst part of said job? Not always having sufficient resources – human and other.

Do you ride or own horses? Neither any more!!


What, if anything, would you like to see changed in the industry? I’d like to see all role players in the industry aligned to the same vision – and working towards this vision: feed merchants, transport, tack merchants, transport, sales, export, veterinary and para – breeding, re-homing and welfare, education (ongoing), marketing – all with non- maleficent agendas. The collective power being greater than the sum of the individual components. The TB should not only be fantastic when in winners box- an entire team gets the winners and the non winners to the race! The industry must not be in denial of what can and unfortunately does sometimes occur. I would like to see education in the industry – not just hard skills – but soft skills. The blending of traditional ways with modern methods.

What advice would you give a young woman keen to get into the thoroughbred industry? Learn to live without sleep – and find energy when you have none! Work with passion – with the animals and the grooms –The grooms are paramount to a healthy industry! Feed off small achievements. Enjoy the manure – you don’t see much mink! Set your own standards!
 

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