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By Trent Edmonds with Graham Potter | Thursday, August 1, 2019

Trent Edmonds has long been a familiar figure around racetracks. His career now takes the next step as joins his father Toby in a training partnership. The foundation for Edmonds racing has already been well and truly established with Toby scoring 110 winners last season in which he finished fourth in the Brisbane Metropolitan Trainer’s Premiership, with metropolitan prize money earnings second only to that of the Premiership winner Tony Gollan. Here, Trent traces the path that has brought him to this watershed moment as the Edmonds team look to take the family business to the next level.

I started out in the stables … being born into it really, but I didn’t take much interest in tit for a long time. I remember when I was a youngster I used to have be dragged out of bed and stuff … I mean I just hated it.

That was until about roughly 2008 or 2009 when things changed a bit and I started to like the horses and I started doing a bit of part time stuff with dad when we were still living in Sydney.

What brought about the change? When I was in school I played as much sport as I could. I wasn’t the greatest at school but I liked English and I wanted to be a journalist … a sports journalist.

I went and did work experience for two weeks at The Sportsman and the Daily Telegraph … and it might have been then when my outlook changed because I realised I didn’t want to be sitting behind a desk in an office.

While that experience was good, even at that early age I thought an office job might not be the thing for me.
That was it and I just started to gravitate towards more of what was going on with the horses and I then began to like what we were doing.

So, yeah, I guess you could say that is where the change in my thinking came about and working with the horses became more appealing.


So, I started working for what was Darley at the time, under Peter and Paul Snowden. They were great and I worked with some fantastic horses.

That was it. When I saw the level of success that they had … and it was at the time when they were just in a purple patch … they won the five two-year-old Group 1’s and all that kind of stuff … you know, looking at those sort of horses drove you a bit.

You go geez, I would love to one day have something good enough to just be in one of those races.

I stayed down there and then I actually started working for Patinack as one of their barn foreman’s in Sydney. They then offered me the job, after learning the ropes under John Thompson, to come up here and be second in charge to dad at Canungra who was training for them.

I moved up there for a week before the old man’s Patinack job ended abruptly and he went out on his own with a couple of horses. He only had two of his own horses and I said I wasn’t going to stick around at Patinack so I thought I may as well go back to Sydney, which I did.

I went back to Darley. I came up here for three months. I actually stayed at the Sunshine Coast for the Winter Carnival. They had a barn full of horses there.

I ended up moving to Melbourne just to have a different look. I loved Melbourne. It was fantastic. I worked with Paulie Snowden. By that time dad was getting a little more traction. He might have had about fifteen or sixteen horses in work.

I just thought the time was right. I’d seen a little bit over the last couple of years and I thought I may as well come back and work for dad. He was looking for someone to help run the show and I thought … ok, no worries … and we just clicked.

That was in 2012 at Easter. We went to the Easter sale and tried to buy a horse which was a half brother to Essington who dad had at the time. We missed out and then I came up after the sales and pretty much started working immediately.


We have been building and building and building since then but, make no mistake, it has been very, very hard.

Initially, to be honest, I was a bit discouraged. Not that I held a position of any importance at Darley but just working around those good horses and having everything there at your disposal and then going to something like the other end of the spectrum where it was a big battle … and it was a big battle … it wasn’t exactly easy times.

We were taking some poorly performed horses to Coffs Harbour and just hoping. We persevered. When Segenhoe got involved it was huge for us. Spurs and Sashes was the first Segenhoe horse we got and she won four or five races for us and was the Gold Coast Horse of the Year.

That’s what snowballed everything. The stable numbers just kept creeping up steadily from there. At one stage we had about twenty-five horses in work for Segenhoe alone.


Along came Houtzen. We bought Houtzen at the Magic Millions and dad straight away told the owners we’d be back next year winning the race. Maybe it was said tongue in cheek but its on record. It happened … and that was big life changer.

At the time she won the millions we had about forty-two or forty-three horses in work. A month after the Millions we had seventy. So, winning the Millions was big thing in so many ways … but it wasn’t only Houtzen who helped us.

We were getting tried horses from down south … Prompt Return, One Inch Punch … came up through the grades and ended up being Open Handicappers for us. Those type of horses.

We have built our business to a fair degree on getting tried horses and rejuvenating them, so to speak. I know Queensland is a little bit easier but they’ve still got to get them to win.

So, that’s where we are at.


For four months or so I was with Houtzen all through his travel to England and his work schedule leading up to his run at Royal Ascot. It was an amazing experience … but it wasn’t all plain sailing. it was a testing time with a fair amount of stress because the responsibility for the horses falls right back on you.

They the type of things that make you as a trainer … sort of steeling you for the times in the future when you have to make those calls yourself.

But the experience I gained was not all to do with Houtzen. Just being at Newmarket. Looking … watching … learning. As I say, it was an amazing experience.

Some time after Houtzen’s run I was sitting in Charles De Gaulle airport when dad sent me a message saying he wanting to chat to me about a partnership when you get home.

It did take me by surprise. He caught me off guard well and truly. It was something that we had never really spoken about until that day.

I knew he had intentions to retire from training when he was sixty but that is still a fair way away and I would have just been happy to bide my time under him … but I was never going to say no. In fact, there was not much to talk about.


There might be little bits of change in the way we work together … but not much. We’ll still be trying to train winners … trying to place them as best we can, communicating with the owners and the rest of it just as well as we always have … so there is not going to be much change at all.

Partnerships are just part of the changing landscape of this industry.

Seven days a week, twenty four hours a day … it is wall to wall racing. You’ve got the Hawkes family, the Snowden’s, the Mahers and many others who have formed partnerships with good reason. It’s about sharing the workload. It’s about working smarter and training partnerships will become more prevalent as racing moves forward.

We are fortunate because our stable is hugely family orientated and that gives it a strong backbone and I think, a family friendliness and professionalism that makes owners feel comfortable. That’s what we have always been about.

As we have found as a family, if we just to all chip in together you can get through the battle with hard work and a lot of luck and start to progress a bit. That’s always been our way.

That whole family thing comes when we didn’t have many horses in work and not many staff early doors and we all had to get stuck in … from mucking out boxes and everything else. Like I said it was a battle and that was what we had to do as a family to get by.

Thankfully we have moved a beyond that … we’ve now got eighty-five horses in work at the moment … but the hard work ethic doesn’t change.

We’ve had some great moments in the last two years but we are not anywhere near where we want to be. We want to be top of the tree. We need a lot of good horses to do that. We another headline act. We need to keep working hard and make certain we provide a good service to all of our clients.

So, yeah, going into partnership is exciting but you can take nothing for granted.

It doesn't matter what level you are on in this game … it is always a big challenge.



TONY AND MADDY SEARS APPLY FOR THOROUGHBRED TRAINING PARTNERSHIP LICENSE This application was approved so Tony and Maddy Sears will kick off the new season as a training partnership

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