Meet Arrowfielders Michelle Nichols & Nigel Bentley


Meet Arrowfielders Michelle Nichols & Nigel Bentley

Arrowfield’s Stud Secretary Michelle Nichols has been with us for almost 20 years and is a mainstay of our business and community. Her special gift is liaising with owners, other farms and our breeding staff every Spring to fulfil more than a thousand bookings to the Arrowfield stallions.
Michelle is the 2017 winner of the Hunter Valley Thoroughbred Breeders Association Employee of the Year (Administration) award.

All-time favourite Arrowfield horse, and why. 
Redoute’s Choice, because he’s such a good coverer and very fertile which has made doing the stallion bookings easy, especially in his busiest years. He always brings a sense of calmness.

Most exciting Arrowfield racing moment.
Miss Finland winning the 2006 Golden Slipper.

Your saddest day at Arrowfield.
When some of my fantastic workmates like Sam Fairgray and Melanie Caban left us, but I’m grateful to see them go on to further their ambitions and dreams.

Favourite place on the farm, and why.
It’s the bridge at the Pages River below Cath’s Barn, it’s always so peaceful and forever changing.

Favourite time of the year at work.
Funnily enough, it’s early September when the stallions start covering mares, everyone is enthusiastic and excited.

What do you most enjoy about your work?
Meeting and talking to people.

Most satisfying personal achievement.
That my children Heath and Abbey have grown up to be great people and have excelled in their chosen fields.

Particular people who have helped you during your career, and how.
Many fantastic people I have worked with over the years, too many to mention!

How would you describe Arrowfield?
Arrowfield is a constantly changing, challenging but enjoyable place to be.


Nigel Bentley joined Arrowfield in 2007, initially working at the Training Centre before taking on the role of Broodmare Farm Manager in 2014. Nigel’s outstanding horsemanship, dedication and approachability make him a valuable member of the farm management team, with responsibility for around 180 broodmares & young horses and up to eight staff.
Nigel was a Finalist for the 2017 Hunter Valley Breeders Association Employee of the Year (Horsemanship) award.

All-time favourite Arrowfield horses, and why.
Beneteau and Scissor Kick, I had the privilege of working with these two amazing colts while they were in training. They both had wonderful natures and personalities.

Most exciting Arrowfield racing moment.
When Alverta, Arrowfield-born, -raised and –raced, won the 2010 Coolmore Classic. [Alverta, now at stud at Arrowfield, was Paul Messara’s first Group 1 winner as a trainer.]

Your saddest day at Arrowfield.
The day Battlefield broke down. [Battlefield was a charismatic and gifted sprinter who won five of his 7 starts from the Paul Messara stable, but suffered serious injuries during a trial and was subsequently euthanased.]

Favourite place on the farm, and why.
Bellerive of course, it’s so quiet and secluded. [Bellerive is the name of Arrowfield’s Broodmare Farm, adjacent to the main Stud property.]

Favourite time of the year at work.
When the first foals start to hit the ground.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

Working with the horses and getting to know their different personalities and quirks.


Most satisfying personal achievement

Visiting China for three months, breaking in 30 horses there and teaching students how to do it.

Particular people who have helped you during your career, and how.
I’ve worked with a lot of great people along the way, too many to list, but my main mentor would have to be my father Kel Bentley. He was a very successful horse breaker and trainer, and he taught me most of what I know.

How would you describe Arrowfield?
A beautiful stud and a wonderful place to work.

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