NZ Eventer Annabel Tuthill Turns Her Hand to Racing

Media Release - Wednesday May 15

Former New Zealand eventer Annabel Tuthill has added another string to her equine bow by taking out her thoroughbred trainer’s license.

Tuthill competed at the highest level in eventing, competing at the Badminton and Burghley horse trials in the United Kingdom, and was named as reserve for New Zealand’s three-day eventing team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with fellow team member Mark Todd also now carving out a career in thoroughbred racing.

Former New Zealand eventer Annabel Tuthill is looking forward to kicking off her thoroughbred training career.  Photo: Supplied

“I was eventing here (New Zealand) and had some success and then went over to the UK for quite a while to aim for the Beijing Olympics, and I was named in the team as a reserve,” Tuthill said.

“I competed at Badminton and Burghley quite a bit over there, which was an amazing experience. I rode some really nice thoroughbreds along the way, they were always my favourite.”

While in the United Kingdom, Tuthill met her now husband Olly, who also competed at the highest level in his chosen equine pursuit – polo.

“Olly played polo in New Zealand and England, and he played for England. He was a professional over there and then we decided to move back to New Zealand and set-up Beaufort Downs, have a family and settle down,” she said.

Beaufort Downs is a boutique thoroughbred breeding nursery set on 100 acres in North Canterbury. The couple have spent the last few years establishing their broodmare band and have featured prominently as vendors at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale.

Their highest profile graduate to date has been So Dazzling, who was purchased for $200,000 out of their 2021 Book 1 draft and went on to finish runner-up in the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) for trainer John Sargent.

Advertisement

“It was cool when she was favourite for the Oaks, that was an exciting time, and she came second to Pennyweka,” Tuthill said.

While she has been kept busy running Beaufort Downs with her husband, alongside raising their three children, training thoroughbreds has always been an itch Tuthill has wanted to scratch, and she is excited to have now taken on that challenge.

Group Two performer Milford Sound, who was bred by the Tuthills under their Beaufort Downs banner, has returned to her care for the twilight of his career.

The six-year-old son of Ocean Park was initially in the care of Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston, for whom he had a pleasing three-year-old season, finishing runner-up in the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) and Listed Southland Guineas (1600m), and third in the Gr.2 Championship Stakes (2100m).

He has failed to replicate those deeds in subsequent seasons, including a stint across the Tasman, and Tuthill believes he is the perfect horse to help kick-off her training career.

“I would like to train a nice filly that we have bred, that would be my main goal,” Tuthill said.

“Mum and Dad’s horse, Milford Sound, came along and he is towards the end of his career, so it was quite a good opportunity for me to have a go and use him for learning experience.

“We bred him and then Andrew Carston did a really good job with him. He did well as a three-year-old. He went over to Australia but unfortunately he had a problem with his wind and has had two wind operations now.

“He has got to be managed nowadays and he is a good horse that has been there and done that, that I can have a go with without too much pressure.”

Tuthill said she has received some great advice and support from a number of trainers.

“Everyone has been super helpful,” she said. “We have got a good relationship with Anna Furlong, Andrew Carston, and Kayla Milnes. Kayla in particular has helped me out a lot at the track and the beach.

“We also went up to Cambridge and stayed with Roger James and Robert Wellwood. They were amazingly helpful.”

Tuthill is taking a patient approach with Milford Sound, who last raced when fourth in the Greymouth Cup (2000m) in January. She gave the gelding a 1200m hit-out at the Ashburton trials on Tuesday and she said he will benefit from the rain-affected tracks over winter.   

“I will just see how he comes through yesterday and then make a plan about what we are going to do in the next few weeks,” she said. “He quite likes the wet tracks, so I am waiting for the rain, it has been really dry down here.”

Tuthill is enjoying training in a new discipline and said it is quite different to training eventers.

“With eventing, we have to get them super fit, and it is more endurance compared to racing,” she said. “Olly is always in my ear telling me not to overdo it. It is a big learning curve.”

While looking forward to kicking off her training career, Tuthill said they are kept busy at their farm and don’t have any ambitions of taking on client horses at this stage.

“We are really busy with the farm and have three little kids, so it is a real juggling act,” she said.

“We are up to around 15 mares. We are loving it, it is awesome. Hopefully we are going over to Magics (Magic Millions broodmare sale) to get another one. We are always trying to improve the broodmare band.

“It is a real team effort and we have got a really good team here, and at this stage, we are doing it (training) for ourselves.”

While Milford Sound is the only racehorse Tuthill has in work at the moment, he is being kept company by retired Group One performer Vernanme, who is enjoying life after racing.

“I am working Vernanme, who belongs to Jasmine Casey, Kevin Hickman’s daughter, which is quite fun,” Tuthill said. “Jasmine is just wanting to find him the best home possible. We have had him here since he retired from racing. I am just doing a bit of schooling with him to get him ready. He is really lovely.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Advertisment
More Reading...
Starspangled Mare Enjoys More Group Success
Returning to Coolmore Australia this spring, Starspangledbanner has a very smart mare in France with four year-old mare Exxtra scoring a dominant win in the Group III Prix du Palais-Royal (1400m) at Longchamp on Sunday.
Stakes Next for Headwater's Exciting Don't Forget Jack
All eleven runners in Wednesday’s Ladbrokes Blackbook 2yo (1200m) at Doomben were winners, including five last-start winners, and the Headwater gelding Don’t Forget Jack put them to the sword.
Sires With Winners - Monday May 27
Here is the full list of 23 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Sires With Winners - Tuesday May 28
Here is the full list of 21 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Tavistock Mare Apostrophe Possible for Queensland
Late bloomer Apostrophe executed a near perfect domestic autumn campaign to put herself in line for a trip to the Queensland winter carnival.
Brazen Beau Filly Another Prophet Off the Mark
The blue-blooded 2-year-old Brazen Beau filly Another Prophet is off the mark at start two with a dominant performance in Wednesday’s Mac Waste Group Maiden Plate (1100m) at Sale.
One to Watch – Canterbury
Trial watchers have had a good eye on this two year-old Toronado (IRE) filly for a while now and punters jumped out of trees to back her at Canterbury on Wednesday and she didn’t let them down.
Welwal tops May (Late) Sale at $330,000
Trainer Mick Price believes his latest stable acquisition Welwal – who topped today’s Inglis Digital May (Late) Sale at $330,000 – has plenty of wins left in him and can’t wait to test out the dual Hemisphere Group performer.
$1.2million for Mare in Foal to Frankel
There are four mares to be offered at Magic Millions National in foal to Juddmonte Farm’s champion sire Frankel and the first of them Grande Dame (GB) sold for $1.2million to James Bester Bloodstock/Morning Rise Stud.
Pam Gerard to take sole charge of Ballymore New Zealand
Change is coming at the trans-Tasman Ballymore Stables operation, with Pam Gerard set to take sole charge of the Matamata base.