Words Of Wisdom From Decorated Horsemen

Dr. Ian Moore and Mark Etsell
Published: February 29, 2024 12:10 pm EST

Take it from a pair of O'Brien Award-winning horsemen, harness racing is not an easy business to break into, but the rewards are worthwhile.

Dr. Ian Moore and Mark Etsell, recently honoured with respective Trainer of the Year and Horsemanship awards, have devoted years to honing their expertise and building successful stables in the harness racing industry from the ground up. 

Whether success is marked by awards, stakes trophies, purse cheques, winner's circle pictures or personal enjoyment and measures of satisfaction, none of it happens overnight.

Both horsemen discussed their careers and the long road to the top in a Wellington Advertiser article, and acknowledged the challenges aspiring trainers face in today's business.

“You have to love the game," Etsell advised when speaking with the Wellington Advertiser. "It’s a sport that you have to be very passionate about. 

“The problem now is, for young people to get in, it’s very expensive," he acknowledged. "I hate to say that, but the reality is expenses are insane compared to what the purses are that we race for.”

“It’s a difficult business and it’s perhaps become even more difficult," noted Moore. “There were more opportunities when I was younger than there are now, but there are still plenty of opportunities. You need to work hard and start at the bottom. 

“Learn the business, spend a lot of time and commitment with it and persevere through tougher times, and you’ll end up being successful."

To read the Wellington Advertiser article in its entirety, click here.

(With files from the Wellington Advertiser; Photos of Dr. Ian Moore [left] and Mark Etsell [right] courtesy of New Image Media)

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