Suzy Jarratt interviews JESS BOTT
Married to Gai Waterhouse’s co-trainer, Adrian Bott, 36-year-old Jess hails from the United States where she ran The Rolling Hills Equestrian Centre in Kentucky.
She has always played an active role in helping to give Thoroughbreds a life after racing and donating prizemoney for OTT events.
“The Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) based in Lexington KY is a similar model to Australia’s TSHA.
“TIP was created by The Jockey Club to encourage the retraining of Thoroughbreds into other disciplines after finishing their racing or breeding careers.
“Records indicate that from its first event in Florida 2012 through to the end of last year there were more than 4,490 horse shows and events with T.I.P. classes or awards held in 50 states and Canadian provinces,” explained Jess. “More than 41,500 eligible Thoroughbreds participated competing for thousands of ribbons, hundreds of prizes and thousands of dollars in prize money. “This is why Gai Waterhouse Adrian Bott Racing are getting behind the TSHA – I know the formula works!”
These days Jess spends a lot of her time at the track. Royal Randwick is the team’s training base.
“Most mornings during trackwork I’m in the tower with Adrian and Gai. Later I’m at the stables and yards – I love it.” And she’s on the Waterhouse payroll.
“I don’t have a particular title – I’m just here, there and everywhere.”
She was still based in America when she first met Adrian.
“I fell in love when he was visiting in 2011.”
She moved to Australia and they married in 2017.
“We had the ceremony at Milton Park in Bowral – it reminded me of home.”
Needless to say The Lady Trainer, nominated as an Australian Living Treasure by the National Trust, was in attendance.
“Gai’s as enthusiastic as we all are about rehoming and about the TSHA incentives. She loves hearing when the horses have done well in another sport or discipline and lets the former owners know about their successes.”
As stated on the Waterhouse & Bott Racing website: “We are thrilled to get behind the THSA as it strives to create a second career and demand for horses beyond racing.”
Jess purchased a grey mare from Racing NSW’s rehoming facility in the Hunter Valley, NSW. ‘Raise An Angel’ wasn’t an overnight success. At first the mare tended to be hot and fizzy. Jess would spend time with her on the ground, take her out on trail rides and slowly she came good.
She worked with showjumping coaches Alison Rowland and Sarah McMillan; Sarah’s partner, Nelson Smyth, rode the grey when Jess was unavailable.
“Nelson’s a big Thoroughbred man. He competes at World Cup level on ‘Laurel Glen Lucky Time’ an OTT who raced as ‘Kilwinning Luck’. Nelson will be riding my horse at the Stonewall Championships as I’ll be working in Sydney.”
As reported by Racing NSW’s Julieanne Horsman when Jess first acquired the mare, who was foaled in 2011, she investigated her breeding and discovered a significant connection.
By Floral Pegasus out of So Super Quick the mare’s grandsire was Fusaichi Pegasus, a Kentucky Derby Winner sold in 2000 to the Coolmore Stud for $US60 million.
This was the sire of Jess’ jumper, ‘Ramsey’, which she’d owned as a student in the States.
“He was a star and I used the money from selling him to come to Australia – I have a lot to thank Fusaichi Pegasus for!”
by SUZY JARRAT, October 2019