A career in racing can take you absolutely anywhere and that’s been the case for McEvoy Mitchell’s Horse Educator/Breaker, Warren Sutton who is in the running for the Horsemanship Award at the Godolphin Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
Sutton grew up in Swan Hill on the outskirts of town where he would ride ponies just over his back fence. As a kid he strategically designed his paper round around the local racetrack to see what was going on every morning and from then he was hooked. This lead to endless hours of mucking out stalls, track riding and strapping through his primary and high school days.
After graduating from Marcus Oldham Farm Management College, he followed his passion into racing and headed off to the beautiful Barossa Valley where he began working for Lindsay Park in 1990, the year Better Loosen Up won the Japan Cup.
Working under some of the best trainers in Australia including David and Peter Hayes and Tony McEvoy, Sutton has seen almost every part of the world through his career in the industry.
“Amongst working through David, Peter and Tony’s reigns, my travels in the industry have led me to South Africa, Europe, America and South East Asia.”
“The opportunities for work in the racing industry is endless and I’ve travelled and worked in many countries around the world where there seems to be this common passport striving for the same goal; to take great care of your horses and to win races.”
Along with the great C.S Hayes, Sutton says that his current boss Tony McEvoy has been the biggest influence in his career.
“Managing Lindsay Park’s Euroa property for 10 years solidified the respect I always had for Tony McEvoy as a trainer and mentor.”
Now one of the most important members of the McEvoy Mitchell yard, Sutton is based at Kildalton Farm in the Riverland, at a place called Murbko (near Blanchetown) for six months of the year.
“Here we educate around 100 yearlings and have the odd problem souls to refine our techniques together. I generally have another four horsemen/women to assist in all the facets of the education program.”
“We spend long days in the classroom (sand rolls) to out on the tracks guiding the inquisitive minds to hopefully be stars of the future. We’d do about six to seven groups from early morning wrapping up by mid-afternoon.”
Like so many in the industry, Sutton has a complete love for the animal that he works with every single day.
“I love working with the wonderful athletes, the horses! It still astounds me sometimes the pressures we put the most versatile breed (in my humble opinion) of horse but they respond and do greater things than I could have imagined.”
From a guy who’s seen a lot in his career and from all corners of the globe, Sutton has some great advice for those looking to get into racing.
“Be true to yourself and know your worth. Never be afraid to ask questions as the most valuable information can come from the most invaluable source. Keep yourself a little black book of things you learn along the way and continue to educate yourself.”
Sutton is thrilled to be acknowledged for his work in the industry through these awards and while a win would mean a lot to him, it would also be worthy recognition for all the people who have helped him along his journey.
“The award wouldn’t be just for me, it would be for everyone I’ve met along the way and for all those that have been generous enough to share their time and knowledge to get me to this point.”
“Just to be acknowledged in your field through these awards is gratifying enough and to win it would be hard to put into words until it actually happens.”
The winner of the Horsemanship Award will be announced at the 2019 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards at Royal Randwick on Friday 6 September. Warren is up against Nigel Bentley from the Arrowfield Stud for the award. For more details: Click here