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"I just love horses, it's as simple as that" | Tracey Collins on how she trains

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

18:12 25 Sep 2020

Trainer Tracey Collins was this week's guest on Friday Night Racing in association with Horse Racing Ireland on Off The Ball.

As a third-generation trainer on the Curragh, Collins is keeping a family tradition alive, with her focus always on the horses.

"I just love horses, it's as simple as that. They are my passion I absolutely love them and couldn't imagine my life without being around me."

Collins as a trainer has a business that is slightly different from some others in that she does the whole process herself.

That begins with purchasing the stock that will hopefully become racehorses.

"When you go to the sales and pick out a horse. Then you bring him home and I break all of my own horses.

"You break them from start to finish. Get them walking, get them trotting then put someone on their back."

In this process, there will be a magic moment for the trainer. It's not necessarily predictable, but it is unmistakable when the horse begins to learn what is expected.

"All of a sudden there's that something different about them, and you know the day that you see it.

"It doesn't happen a lot but when it does it's very good. If you can bring him the whole way up along from there.

"Then you can turn back and say 'listen, I went to the sales. I got this horse. I brought him to where he or she is.' That's a fair kick.

The 'kick' Tracey Collins speaks of is enhanced further given the level of competition of horse racing in Ireland.

"Any horse you get into the winners' enclosure in Ireland [is a huge kick]. Racing in Ireland is the most competitive racing in the world.

"It has the best horses, the best jockeys, the best trainers and the best owners without a shadow of a doubt.

"If you can survive in Ireland, You'll survive anywhere. It's a very high standard, it's like going to the Olympics every day.

"The prize money is better than anywhere else and all of that gives you a kick. You get up every morning because you are competing with the best."

Next Generation

The kick is still very much there for a third-generation trainer and Tracey Collins says the dynasty is not stopping anytime soon.

"My sister Sheena's daughter Anna is down with us, she's 15 adn has been coming down since she was ten.

"She has been taught the same thing as I would have been taught with my dad about looking after a horse, looking after the husbandry.

"Different things at the sales, picking out effects in horses that you can't train, that you can train.

"It isn't in a book, but it's been passed down to me. We're going to try to pass it on to her and she's a very quick learner."


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Flat Racing Friday Night Racing The Curragh Tracey Collins

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