As a small child I was lucky enough to be raised by parents who had a strong connection to country life and spent a great deal of time in beautiful Gloucester rounding up cattle on horseback and weekends at Pony Club.
I was educated at Arden School at Beecroft and my senior school years were spent at Wenona School for Girls completing my Higher School Certificate in 1968.
In 1969 I worked at Hayes Advertising at McMahons Point as a media assistant and finally became the media manager of this boutique organisation. From there I moved on to the 2GB/Macquarie network in a promotional role to begin with, ending up in the sales team as an account executive. It was at this time that I met my future husband, John. Many nights were spent at Harold Park Paceway during our courting stage where John was the course commentator. In 1978 we bought a property in Sydney’s west where we bred, trained and raced our own standarbreds.
Our daughter Rebecca was born at the end of 1981 and was only 8 days old when she attended her first harness racing event – Fairfield Trials on a Wednesday.
At the beginning of 1986 John had a very serious race fall, 2GB dropped Racing and our property was bought by the Government for Sydney’s 2nd airport. These three events saw us move to Galston, cease training horses and John moving across to Radio 2UE with more responsibilies to the Channel 9 newsroom plus presenting on Sky Channel.
We were away from our beautiful Standardbreds for 9 years. During that time John was very busy with his media commitments and I spent my days between school activites (as a Mum) running the family business and fundraising for different charities, such as the Variety Club and diabetes Australia to mention a few. Many of the fund raising functions were held at Harold Park on a racenight. The Executive of the NSW harness Racing Club at Harold Park were always very generous with providing their magnificent function room and John and I forged a strong relationship with them which exists to this day. Over a period of about 10 years we were able to raise approximately 1 million dollars for various charities – something that would not have been possible without the support of then CEO of the NSW Harness Racing Club Peter Vlandys (Now CEO of Racing NSW) and the current CEO of Harness Racing NSW, Mr. John Dumesny.
In year 2000, we bought 25 acres at Ebenezer where we established our own training complex and operated from there right up to the end of 2016, – Back with the Standardbreds we love so much. During that time a yearling Standardbred came to us and he would give us the time of our lives. Winning the Bathurst Gold Crown as a 2yo he went through his classes and was racing at Interdominion level as an eight year old accruing $650,000 in prizemoney along the way. He is now a show horse and registered with the SPPHA.”
Ann pictured with Debra Holt and Chariot King at Luddenham Annual Ag Show 2017