Silverdale Academy October Newsletter

It has been an extremely busy year for the Silverdale Academy.  Our Summer Intern Program is now taking registrations and provides an incredible opportunity for interns to experience the Inglis Classic Sales in February 2024.  We have a line-up of incredible industry leaders such as Champion jockey Jason Collett, leading trainers Bjorn Baker and Ciaron Maher Racing, Inglis Bloodstock Agent Angus Robertson and many more.  Interns will be exposed to all aspects of the yearling sale process and have access to behind the scenes action whilst on site at the yearling sales. 

Developing future industry Leaders.  New Program Development – Leadership and Management

Silverdale Academy are passionate about educating the next generation of workers in the industry.  We have invested a lot of research and resources into developing programs to ensure participants graduate with a high standard of qualifications.  This reduces the time of industry employers training their new staff and ensures a higher level of safety and welfare for both horse and human.

The Silverdale Academy have been busy developing a unique Leadership and Management Program specific to the Thoroughbred Industry.  The course will be fully accredited with nationally recognised qualifications.  When developing our program we want to ensure that topics such as Ethics, Governance, Leadership and Critical decision making and analysis of situations are at the forefront of the education of our future leaders. Our Pilot program will commence with a Statement of Attainment in Equine Leadership. Where graduates can later build to a full diploma qualification. 

Feedback from industry leaders has identified a gap in staff development within our front-line leaders.  We want to equip the industry with appropriately skilled staff to lead effectively, be empowered with communication skills and have the ability to manage and promote diversity and wellbeing in the workplace.  Investing in the training of staff is an investment in the industry which is necessary for staff empowerment and retention. 

We are anticipating our Pilot Program to commence early 2024 and will be taking expressions of interest from the industry soon. If you are a trainer or thoroughbred breeding farm and would like to encourage your staff to become future leaders, we would highly recommend you looking further at our program. Full details will be provided as we finalise the course structure.  

We welcome input from industry. If you would like to contribute your suggestions, please email

Silverdale Academy Summer Intern Program – Warwick Farm


Online Learning commences:

11 December 2023 to 22 March 2024

Warwick Farm Practical Experience:

12-16 February 2024

  • Incredible opportunity to gain behind the scenes exposure to Inglis Classic Sales. 
  • Learn what buyers look for in a champion racehorse. 
  • Experience the excitement and buzz of the sales arena. 
  • See how horses are prepared in the stables prior to parading.
  • Learn important hands-on fundamental horse handling skills with Warwick Farm’s Clerk of the Course Horses.
  • Spend time working in Ciaron Maher stables and learn the roles and takes working for a world leading trainer.
  • Take an excursion to state-of-the-art REC Equine Veterinary Facility at Horsley park.
  • Experience work on a leading Thoroughbred Breeding Farm at Silverdale Farm.
  • Meet industry leaders as they engage you with career chats – bloodstock agents, corporate management, marketing and media experts, jockeys, judges, plus so many more.
  • Experience Barrier Trials right behind the barriers and meet barrier attendants.
  • Take a Warwick Farm track tour and meet all the people behind the scenes and the different roles.

ATC Business Connect

Steve Grant and Danielle Tiller had the opportunity to participate at the ATC’s Business Connect – Business of Racing breakfast last month. The Breakfast, MC’d by Tim Gilbert provided the platform for dynamic discussion between thoroughbred industry leaders and the opportunity to connect with like-minded businesspeople. 

Steve Grant joined a panel of speakers along with Mark Webster – Inglis, Tom Reilly – Aushorse, Caroline Searcy – Sky Racing and ATC, James Ross – ATC, Ross Cole – Godophin and Darley and provided insight into the thoroughbred breeding industry as well as highlighting Silverdale Academy’s successful education programs. 

There was a lot of conversation during the break surrounding our programs, which is a testament to its success and the exposure the programs are receiving.

Kick Up For Racing 

Kick Up is a not-for-profit initiative offering factual and balanced information about the horse racing industry. It was founded by a team of young, dedicated enthusiasts with a deep passion for the horse racing industry. 

Kick Up’s informative website presents a range of topics, shedding light on both the positive aspects whilst promising to push for improvement in indentified areas required.

As we approach the Melbourne Cup, the team are gearing up to tackle the anti-racing activists who are the most prevalent for the race that stops the nation. But they can’t do it alone, they need your help! The Kick Up team encourage racing enthusiasts to ‘plagiarise with pride’. 

Get involved! Use the information and graphics they provide and share them. If you see someone spreading a mistruth on social media, challenge them or tag @kickupforracing for some back up!

Royal Agriculture Society News – AgVision 26 June 2024

Following our very successful attendance at this year’s RAS AgVision spectacular, the Silverdale Academy are very proud to have been invited to participate again in next year’s event.  AgVision is an Agri-Careers Expo showcasing our industry and promoting the broad range of careers available in the agriculture and agri-business sectors to secondary school students in Years 8-12.  AgVision is based on a comprehensive range of meaningful conversations and interactive components between industry professionals and students. Offering a diverse range of careers within the agricultural sector, AgVision is extremely proud to have the contribution of technical experts, researchers and more from across the industry.

RIEP School’s week work experience Commences 10th November

We are excited to be preparing our school’s internship program, to be targeted at the selection of 100 students who have come through our school’s program during 2023. 12 students from years 10 to 12 will be selected to undertake an Internship Program that will run for one week at Silverdale Farm.  Students will experience work at Milburn Creek thoroughbred farm, Ciaron Maher Racing stables  (Bong Bong) and visit Randwick Equine Centre, plus be inspired by our leading industry guest speakers. 

The week will provide school students with guidance on their next steps as they embark on leaving school and start their career pathway in the equine industry.  The program provides them with study and career pathways and it is hoped they will sign up for the Silverdale Intern program in early 2024, where they will gain nationally recognised qualifications. 

We can’t wait to share details and pictures in our November/December edition.

Expression of Thanks 

Nigel Mohanan– Markwell Racing Kembla Grange

Our special school tour programs with RIEP in the Illawarra region always start with a visit to the Illawarra Turf Club, Kembla Grange where they meet with David Anderson for a track tour and jockey room talk.  David discusses the job opportunities associated with working in industry, specific to working at a racecourse and the opportunities associated with race day horse activities.

During their visit, school students have the invaluable experience to visit Markwell Racing stables and meet Nigel Mohanan who is incredibly engaging with the students providing career discussions and real-life experience of a training stable.  The students have the opportunity to meet the wonderful horses and learn about safe horse handling techniues whilst under the supervision of the Markwell Racing team and TAFE NSW facilitators. They learn about potential career pathways and the rewarding opportunities of working in this sector of the horse industry.  

Under the lead of the wonderful Gwenda Markwell who sadly passed away in October last year, Markwell Racing have trained over 1000 winners and have won the Kembla Grange trainer’s premiership 19 times.

A huge shout out of thanks to Nigel and the team for always being prepared to talk to the students, both school tour groups and the interns who are studying the Silverdale Academy Equine Internship Program.  We truly value this support and this incredible contribution makes a massive impact on encouraging the next generation to commence a career within the industry.

What our Interns are saying?

“I would like to thank you personally for the amazing program that you have initiated at Silverdale farm with tafe NSW, it’s an experience that has opened my eyes within the industry to see the variety of many different pathways that are open for jobs.  I would also like to thank you for personally taking the time to share your stories and experiences throughout your career.

I also hope to see Silverdale farm and yourself hopefully at the Magic millions 2024 on the Gold Coast selling away, when I’m up there.”


I would like to thank both you, Linda, Dave as well as Steve and the Silverdale Academy for giving me the opportunity to be part of such an amazing internship. A Horse specific course such as this had so much knowledge and experience to offer within such a short time frame. Seeing all the different gears of the horse racing industry working together in motion is something not many get to see. The five days on site at Warwick Farm Racecourse as well as the trip to Silverdale Farm is a time that I will never forget and I am proud to be part of such an amazing experience. This course opened up a new world of opportunity and information for me; from the knowledge in the classroom to the hands on experience with the horses, this course is a powerhouse initiative in introducing people into the world of the thoroughbred industry. Once again thank you for all your many kind efforts.

Jacob shared one of his amazing artworks with us. So very talented and shows a true passion for the horse.  


Coming Up!

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