To say racing is in Rebecca Dynon’s blood is almost an understatement.
The 31-year-old turf management apprentice is the daughter of a racehorse trainer and a passionate advocate for the health and safety of horses in the racing industry. “I’ve been involved with racing all my life. Now I’m hoping to give something back to the industry I love so much.”
The former professional track rider is studying for her Diploma of Horticulture (Turf) and is in the final year of an apprenticeship at Seymour Racing Club. To date she is the only Australian woman to complete a turf manager apprenticeship at a racetrack. Her responsibilities range from machinery maintenance to grooming and watering the tracks. She also coordinates track staff and carries out track inspections on race days. “Sometimes you’ll be mowing the track for Damien Oliver to ride on. It’s such a big responsibility. People put a lot of faith in your work.”
Dynon, an Australian Racecourse Managers Association member, couldn’t believe her luck when she travelled to Europe as a delegate last year to study different management techniques in England, Ireland and France. Upon her return, she gave a talk on what she’d learned at the Association’s conference. “It was fantastic to be able to share that information with turf managers I admire.”
With only a year of her apprenticeship left to go, Dynon is busy learning as much as she can. She says she chose to enrol in the Certificate III in Horticulture (Turf) course at Melbourne Polytechnic (formerly known as NMIT) because of its reputation as the best training in the industry. “The teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic have been an amazing support. They’re on the ball and really up to date on turf. Plus they make the course interesting and fun to learn. The theory content is spot-on and we do a lot of practical hands-on work.”
Dynon, who hails from Tatura, has shares in three racehorses, one of which has scored multiple wins at Moonee Valley, much to her delight. “When you’re riding and racing it’s like having kids. That’s how close you are when you’re working with these horses. They’re not machines. They’re living breathing amazing animals.”
Certificate III in Horticulture (Turf)and Diploma of Horticulture (Turf)