Arrowfield’s Cath Stockdale wins HTBA award

Glamour is undeniably a significant aspect of racing’s public profile: the joyous celebration amid hats, champagne & trophies in the Group 1 winner’s circle, and the rush of excitement as the auctioneer’s hammer comes down on a big price in the sale-ring.

But behind those glittering moments are weeks, months and years of dedicated work by many extraordinary people on farms and in offices around Australia.  Quite simply, the big moments don’t happen without a thousand things being done superbly well.

At the 25th Annual Awards Dinner held by the Hunter Valley Breeders Association on Wednesday evening that work was acknowledged by two awards presented for the first time.

Pamela Parry of Amarina Farm received the HTBA Employee of the Year (Administration) Award, and the HTBA Employee of the Year (Horsemanship) Award was presented to Arrowfield’s Broodmare Manager Cath Stockdale.

Cath has been a key member of Arrowfield’s team since she took up a Horse Industry Operations Traineeship with the Stud in 1994.

It was her first job, but she brought to her work solid horse experience from her family’s participation in polocrosse and the rodeo scene. For the first four years with Arrowfield Cath worked in the yearling barn and such was her progress that, after the Stud moved to its present location in the Segenhoe Valley near Scone, she was promoted to Broodmare Manager.

It’s a decision Arrowfield has never regretted. Cath lacked previous experience or knowledge on the breeding side of the farm, but her determination to succeed and the confidence of her colleagues have allowed to thrive in the role. Her natural ability with horses, expert care and dedication to improving her skills have nurtured many of Arrowfield’s best graduates including Miss Finland, Alverta, Majmu, Master Of Design, Snitzerland and Sweet Idea, to name a few.

Cath’s gentle and sensitive handling of mares and foals extends to younger, less experienced staff who benefit from her quiet advice and guiding hand. Affectionately known as “Nanny Mare” by her colleagues, she constantly inspires and encourages those around her and so plays a valuable role in preparing the next generation for successful careers in the thoroughbred breeding industry.

After 22 years, and now married with two children, Cath remains a very special and much respected “Arrowfielder.” 


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