By Andrew Smith
Her father and grandfather were synonymous with the Far North Queensland racing community but Rebecca Henry is now making a name for herself in the region through retraining thoroughbreds.
Rebecca was crowned the inaugural Queensland Off-The-Track (QOTT) Acknowledged Retrainer of the Year at the 2023 TAB Queensland Thoroughbred Awards in October.
“It came very last minute – I got a phone call to say I was one of two finalists, and ended up down at the Thoroughbred Awards,” Ms Henry said.
“It was a privilege just to be at the awards and to win the award was amazing…I felt really privileged.
“Honestly I was very honoured, it just cements what I’ve been doing with the horses…it’s hard to summarise it but it’s one of those awards that was super special to me, it was wonderful.
“I want to thank Queensland Off-The-Track, particularly the office ladies there, but also at home I am an Approved Coach for the QOTT Subsidised Lessons Program and I often go away doing official shows as well, so my dad is at home looking after my horses and feeding them when I’m not there.
“So a big thank you to my dad, it’s a team effort.”
RQ Senior Animal Care Manager Kim Duffy said Rebecca was a worthy recipient of the inaugural award.
“Rebecca is an extremely dedicated and passionate retrainer who puts in maximum effort and gives every horse an equal opportunity to find their perfect home post-racing,” Ms Duffy said.
“Rebecca has long been an advocate for life-after-racing, and has worked tirelessly to ensure former racehorses lead happy and healthy lives once they leave the racetrack.
“She’s a hard worker who goes above and beyond to ensure each horse finds a suitable home, regardless of any physical or behavioural issues they may have presented with.
“It’s fantastic that the award is presented as part of the Queensland Thoroughbred Awards, creating additional recognition and awareness of the outstanding dedication of our Acknowledged Retrainer network.
“I would like to thank each and every one of our QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers. They do a fantastic job and they are instrumental in helping us achieve our goal of providing the best opportunity for a successful transition for retired racehorses post-racing.”