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Posted 2019-10-04 09:16:53  
Ladies in Racing : Corinne Bestel


SA Horseracing recently took time out to find out more about the successful Corinne Bestel , as part of a series on prominent women in the horse racing industry.

How did you become involved in the horse/racing industry?
My mother Eileen Bestel was one of the first lady trainers in the province, and consequently I followed in her footsteps.

How long have you been aspiring to become a trainer.?
Being born into a racing family, it was always a dream to one day train like my mother, and it was from her that I learnt the trade. I was her assistant for 7 years, before taking out my licence in August 1994.

What are the qualities or attributes that a trainer needs to have in order to be successful in this game?
To be successful in this game, one needs 3 things, patience, perseverance and resilience.

How many horses do you have at the moment?
Presently I have a dozen horses in my yard.

What are some of the best horses you have helped to train?
I have had some good horses over the years, namely Azuaga who won me my first group race the Rupert Ellis Brown in 1996. I also had a filly called Olympic Flag who won the Byerly Turk as well as the KZN Listed Stakes. St Lazare won the Christmas Handicap at Clairwood drawn 16 out of 16 in 1998. She’s A Winner won the Godolphin Barb beating the boys in 2008, just to name a few.

What was your most memorable day in racing?
My most memorable day in racing was at Clairwood in 2000 when I had 4 winners on the day.

Where is your favourite racetrack?
Without a doubt Clairwood was my favourite track, however with that gone I would have to say Scottsville.

Have you ever felt prejudiced against in racing as a result of being a woman?
Despite it being a male dominated profession, I have never experienced any prejudice. The fact is that there are many successful woman trainers out there, flying the flag is testament to that.

Do you have a favourite sire at the moment? Have any young sires impressed you?
Regarding sires, I don’t really have a favourite, but I do like the Twice Overs and the Cape Town Noirs, and Vercingetorix looks very promising.

What would you like to see changed in racing?
It’s not a secret that racing is not in a good place right now, and to be honest I am not sure what the solutions are. However, keeping a horse in training has become beyond the reach of a lot of owners, while stakes have pretty much remained stagnant. Consequently, the owner pool has shrunk, and therefore something needs to be done to bring back the owners that have been lost to the industry.

Who, if anyone, has inspired you in racing?
There have been many outside influences that have shaped me, but my true inspiration has come from my mother who excelled in this industry when I believe it was at its toughest.

What advice would give a someone keen in getting involved in racing, either as a trainer or as an owner, especially females?
The advice I would give someone male or female that wants to become a trainer is that you have to accept that your life will change forever when taking on this profession, as it doesn’t become a job but a way of life.
In order to succeed you need to be dedicated and committed to your horses and clients, as often there are more lows than highs, and therefore can be very challenging. Communication is key!

The same applies to being an owner. You need to have a good relationship with your trainer and also accept the fact that one is dealing with flesh and blood and often nothing goes according to plan!

I have been very fortunate to have had wonderful owners that have been with me for as long as I have been training and without their support I would not still be here after 25 years.

 


 

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