Suzy Jarratt interviews Renee Huddy
‘We are about educating Thoroughbred horses in a safe, kind but effective manner, developing respect and impeccable manners”
Linda and Graham Huddy are among the biggest racehorse owners in Australia and have had some great successes. Originally based in Mt Isa they sold their earthmoving operation in 2008 and, in 2014, relocated to a property north of Brisbane. Their Peachester Lodge on the Sunshine Coast is a 350-acre well-appointed Thoroughbred facility featuring a 15,000m grass and sand track and barriers. It is managed by their daughter-in-law, Renee, an accomplished rider, breaker and pre-trainer.
“I’ve always been a horse person, just like my parents,” she said.
Her father, John Hinricks, was a stockman who buckjumped around country rodeos and his wife, Leigh was a barrel racer. When Renee left school in Mt Isa she became an apprentice jockey riding her dad’s horses, and at 18 she began dating Lachlan Huddy who she later married.
“I first met him when he came home for Christmas from uni. He was studying creative writing and later did a publishing course in Sydney.”
These days Lachlan, who is also an author and filmmaker, handles all the digital video and audio material for Peachester Lodge.
“He’s taken over a lot of the office work his mother used to do so now Linda’s allowed to relax a little bit more,” said 34-year-old Renee, who had an enforced rest from horses during her apprenticeship after breaking a leg when riding trackwork.
“A horse bolted on me and I hit the fence. Not long after that dad got rid of the few he owned, and I had time away from racing. Then we moved from Mount Isa to Murgon, near Kingaroy.”
There she met up with trainer Col Williamson who put her on as an apprentice. For six years she rode all over Queensland enjoying scores of wins.
Now Renee’s focus is on the pre-racing work of breaking and getting the horses race ready.
“One of the reasons I enjoy the breaking-in process is because I can ensure right from the beginning that the horses have a really good start so they’ve every chance to go on and be successfully rehomed.
“And Linda and Graham like to keep their very good horses such as Shoot Out, who was a multiple Group 1 winner. He will live out his days at Peachester”. By High Chaparral (IRL) out of Pentamerous (NZ) this gelding won over $3M in prize money and was retired six years ago.
“Many of the horses we’ve had have gone on to make their mark in other disciplines,” said Renee. “Gemma Creighton-Buchannan (daughter of show jumping Olympian Guy) works closely with us – taking many of our off the track horses and transitioning them to their new careers”.
During all her years with Thoroughbreds has she found any particular stallions who consistently throw ideal types for other disciplines?
“I know Gemma likes Fastnet Rock (Danehill/Piccadilly Circus) she’s had two from us in the past,” said Renee, “and from my own experience I think horses by Lucas Cranach do well. He’s a German stallion who came third in the 2011 Melbourne Cup when Graham owned him.
“They’re late maturers but I think they could be fantastic at just about anything.”
by SUZY JARRATT – October 2019