Brad was born in NZ but raised in Australia before making the move to Cambridge. He started leading for Wentwood at Karaka in 2016/17 before coming on as full time yearling manager in August 2017.
He was originally going to be at Wentwood for 18 months though nearly five years later he is still here!
Brad has an extensive knowledge of the racing and bloodstock industries after working for the likes of Lee and Anthony Freedman, Blue Gum Farm in Australia and Lanes End Farm in Kentucky.
Brad has a retired greyhound called Duke and you’ll always hear late 90s/early 2000s bangers on full volume around the yearling barn.
Where does your passion for horses come from?
Not to be cliché but I was basically born into it. My parents are walking encyclopedias of New Zealand racing and breeding and my father has been training racehorses the majority of my life so I caught the bug at a very young age.
How did you get started in the thoroughbred industry?
I got my start when I went to a Brisbane Bloodstock Yearling Sale when I was 12 with my dad. We walked away with a chestnut colt by Chateau Istana we named “Bob”. That colt ended up in work in Beaudesert with Diane Murphy (another kiwi abroad) so most weekends we would drive down from Brisbane to see him work and from that I started strapping race day and doing school holiday work for Diane and the passion just grew and grew from there!
What is your favourite part about working at Wentwood Grange?
It’s horse heaven. The pasture and land is just incredible horse country! It’s a beautiful spot in the Waikato and the farms have been meticulously designed, it makes waking up in the morning very easy; the Hawkins Family take so much pride in everything they do.
What is your favourite time of year?
Spring but particularly September. The temperature is starting to warm up, there’s plenty of foals hitting the ground that we’ve all waited 11 months to see, the yearling farm is starting to ramp-up, the spring racing is starting to heat up; It’s just a great time on farm.
What is your proudest moment or best memory since you started with Wentwood Grange?
There is honestly so many. Putting Kolding through the ring, Our Abbadean winning the Travis Stakes, anytime Mai Tai won, Lickity Split winning the G1 Sistema, preparing so many amazing yearlings, working with so many fantastic people, every Christmas party, every Karaka celebration and watching countless people and horses grow up and go on to have great blossoming careers.
Do you have a favourite broodmare?
Zoccoli d’Oro, Magic Star, Lithograph, Our Abbadean, Goldiluva there’s so many.
Who is someone that inspires you?
Gai Waterhouse, hands down anyone that knows me knows I am the biggest Gai Waterhouse fan.
Cats or Dogs?
Fillies or Colts?
Either, race a filly sell a colt.
If you could sit down and have a drink with any three people (alive or passed) who would you choose?
Gai Waterhouse (duh). My Pop, he was so wise and knowledgeable and unfortunately has passed away, what I would give for another hour to pick his brain and just listen. My mum, because the conversation between those three would just be incredible to listen to.
Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
Going to the races, having a punt and a glass of champagne, nothing can beat it when you have a runner on a big day!
If someone approached you eager to enter to thoroughbred industry, what words of wisdom would you have for them?
Just listen, there are some fascinating and incredibly knowledgeable people from all walks of life in this industry you can learn so much off of. The beautiful part is it can take you anywhere around the world and hard work, determination and passion go a really long way!