My name is Ashleigh Hughes. I am based at Turffontein Racecourse, in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I an Assistant Trainer for Snaith Racing, and run their Johannesburg satelite yard. I have worked in the racing industry since 1993, for trainers like Tobie Spies, Michael Airey, St John Gray, Weiho Marwing and Gary Alexander. I briefly had my own Trainer's Licence from 2002-2004, but I decided to rejoin the Alexander yard. From 2006-2011 to took a bit of sabbatical from the racing industry, and worked at Leo Baxter's Stonefield Polo Estate, where I was exposed to yet another one of South Africa's equine sports. In 2011, I once again rejoined the Alexander yard, and I have remained in the industry since then.
I have come to appreciate and admire the versatility of the Thoroughbred, and I have been a huge fan of this intelligent, willing and athletic breed for over 3 decades. I have seen how easy it is to retrain them to be competitive in another sport, and once again thrive and give their all in a new vocation.
Unfortunately they have developed a rather unfortunate reputation for being difficult, unsound, "drug addicts", riddled with gastric ulcers and too hot to ride. Most of these are myths perpetuated by the anti-racing lobbyists.
I have made it my personal mission to debunk these myths and show just how amazing these Thoroughbreds can be. That they not only can be retrained in other equine pursuits, but can excell and beat the more fashionable Warmblood breeds, in most of these sports.