If you told a young Amy Walker that she would be donning the iconic blue uniform and strapping ‘Exploring’ in the prestigious 2023 Golden Slipper, she would have thought you were joking.
Now, this is her reality!
Amy Walker’s love for horses was ingrained from a young age through the influence of her mother, who spent her childhood surrounded by horses.
“My mum passed on this passion as she bought me my first horse when I was around 7 years old. She always said I would grow out of this obsession I had with riding and kept insisting it was just a hobby. Much to her dismay I was very persistent with it, and she ended up buying me a years’ worth of riding lessons to help me develop my skills,” Amy said.
It was at Mulgoa Pony Club that Amy learnt the fundamentals of riding and got up at the crack of dawn every Saturday to ride.
With Amy still well and truly invested in riding, she purchased her first off the track Thoroughbred in 2013, who was a 3yo 17hh gelding called ‘Ace’. This purchase kick started her ownership of horses, which has expanded to having 4 horses in her care now.
As Amy grew up, her introduction into the racing industry came through her experience of working at a TAB call centre for three years when she was fresh out of school.
“It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do but I knew it was never in an office job and instead working with animals. I left TAB and worked in a dog shelter before I started at a dressage stable with Hannah & Heidi Scott in Glenorie,” Amy said.
Although Amy had returned to working with horses, she still didn’t feel like she was in the right job.
“I always remember driving past the Godolphin stables at Agnes Banks and dreaming of working there. I thought why not ask if they have a position available, so I gave them a call but wasn’t hopeful at all because I know how hard it is to work there,” Walker said.
To Amy’s surprise, Godolphin came calling the next day to organise an interview which sent her hopes skyrocketing. Within 72hrs from her original call, Amy was offered a racing hand job for Godolphin.
“Godolphin is just an all-round amazing place to work, and I’ve achieved a lot with them. I’ve been there for 4 years now and genuinely can’t fault it,” Amy said.
Within these 4 years, Amy’s favourite moment was in 2019 when she strapped her first winner, Vivaro at Hawkesbury, just a month after she started at the well-known stable.
Despite this, Amy mentions, “My favourite horse will always be Segalas as she was the first horse I looked after at Godolphin and strapped for 3 years.
“I love being a stable hand and strapper, but I would eventually love to explore the possibility of being a Foreman one day and working up to this. The good thing with Godolphin is they always offer room for growth and the opportunities are endless.
“I found my dream job which not a lot of people can say,” Amy concluded.
– *This article originally appeared in the May 2023 edition of the Racing NSW magazine