Lynn Muirhead


Lynn Muirhead has spent thirty years recruiting senior executives. She is a unique, innovative businesswoman – and a lover of thoroughbreds.

Several years ago she established Glencairn Search and Leadership Advisory working with clients on critical talent agendas; and early in 2020 launched Cairn Bespoke Transition Solutions.

“Cairn has a clear purpose to support mid-career senior executives as they transition from one chapter of their career onto the next.  Our participants have the opportunity of working with a coach who is uniquely placed to bring the mindset of a recruiter into their transitionary journey.  We support them in marketing and positioning themselves in a highly contested job market, working with them on a one on one basis, coaching them through the process of securing their next role”, explained Lynn.

“As a certified coach, I coach mid to senior executives across the leadership spectrum, working with them to optimise their attributes and enabling them to show up as the best version on their self in the work place.  Across both Glencairn Search and Leadership Advisory and Cairn Bespoke Transition we are able to work with our corporate clients through the entirety of the employee life cycle; we support them in attracting, retaining, onboarding, developing, evolving and ultimately, sometimes providing the critical support in transitioning redundant talent as they leave the organisation.  Providing this support as your talent leaves the organisation can be highly effective in protecting an organisations employer brand.”   “As the name suggests, the Cairn program is tailored uniquely to the needs of each participant.  It is a six-month program where at the outset, we work proactively with our participants in guiding them on how they can stand out in a congested job market.  We work with our participants in establishing who is in their network, how to maximise and fully leverage that network, and how to build their personal brand during this transitionary phase.  An important part of the engagement focuses on their professional development; we address what has and hasn’t worked for them in their career to date and coach them to make sure they are set up for success as they transition into their next role.   With the program being six-months, there is every likelihood that we will still be working with our participants once they have secured their next role, so the focus of our engagement shifts to supporting them onboard into their new employer’s organisation”. Krissy Harris commented there were similar elements in Lynn’s companies and in the Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association which she founded in December 2018.

“In essence what you’ve described is what we do in TSHA,” she said. “We provide competitions as a new job for horses who have finished racing or have never raced.  Because we provide the competitions all over Australia – it then creates employment for trainers as they  support and guide the horses education specific to its  next career. We’re instrumental in providing a destination to encourage people to transition horses from their  previous job as a racehorse to a performance sport horse.”

Krissy wisely draws the on the similarity of Cairn and TSHA, Lynn does in her business life is what she’s doing, as a hobby, in her private life.  Cairn provides transitionary support through career disruption and change, whereas TSHA is about providing that transitionary support for a horse as it grows onto the next phase in its life.

Lynn began riding as a kid but didn’t get serious about it until much later.  “I just trail rode when I was young and only began training Olympic disciplines when I turned forty.”

My first thoroughbred was a beautiful mare called Galaxy (Our Oz Girl). –She was one of the first horses bred by the Sangsters in Australia; she is by Tussac and out of Aussie’s Planet. Krissy taught me to showjump on her.  She knew nothing about jumping, and I knew even less! After I retired her with ringbone at 12 she produced a beautiful foal who is now being successfully evented by a professional rider. Krissy  then found  my eventing mare, Kernow Elegante, who raced as Nitsua. She’s by Plum Shore out of Final Tempo and took me from being a beginner to pre-novice in four years.    I was hooked on the thoroughbreds and I inherited Adelle (Elle on Legs by Youthful Legs out of Snarldee).  She’s now doing well in several disciplines with a young rider in Queensland.

“And then there’s Fred, racing name Any Chance Darl, who’s by Arlington out of Chanceoneasystreet.  He’s seven and I’ll be taking it slowly with him. He came third at Port Macquarie on my fiftieth birthday and then ended up with me. Fred has a good attitude and I hope he’ll event.

“What I love about thoroughbreds is they have such a great brain. They also possess a really good work ethic and want to do the job.

“I go into the paddock with a headstall and Fred comes up to me as if to say ‘what are we doing today?’ I love that attitude.

“In my humble opinion problems can occur when the horses come off the track and go to an inexperienced person wanting a cheap horse.

“Many are super smart, like Fred, and they can learn the wrong thing in a heartbeat,” she added. “If the wrong people are taking on the training and development of OTTs that’s when there’s a bit of discord.

“What I like about TSHA,” she added, “is that it’s creating a brand around thoroughbreds and is actively encouraging people who know what they’re doing to take the horses off the track and provide them with the grounding and basic education they need to be sold on successfully.

“I got Fred from Heath and Rozzie Ryan at their Newcastle Equestrian Centre in Heatherbrae. They’d been given him by an owner/ trainer who wanted the gelding to go to a good home. The Ryans had him for four months and gave him a great foundation. Thoroughbreds need to go to the right people between their racing careers and their new lives – many will end up with non-professionals like myself and transitioning through a professional stable makes it easier for me and the horse.”

Lynn lives with her 3 off the track thoroughbreds in Mangrove Mountain only moments away from Krissy and Heath Harris’ Stonewall Equestrian Centre at 1992 Wisemans Ferry Road. She is sponsoring the Cairn Cup for  TSHA  90cm Slipper Class at Stonewall’s  end-of-year show to be held from Friday 27 November  along with the Axiom Group 3.  The TSHA Group 1 Grand Prix on Sunday 29th is sponsored by Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott Racing and the Group 2 by Cooper Racing.

Glencairn Search and Leadership Advisory  &  Cairn Bespoke Transition