As one of the longest standing staff members at Wexford Stables, Mark Gage-Brown has been a part of the furniture for the past sixteen years! A reliable, hard-working and well-loved member of the team, he is considered by all the staff as an absolute legend. Keeping the ball rolling on the ground, Mark manages the day-to-day maintenance of the stables.
Affectionately referred to as 'Uncle Mark', he has seen the development and growth of Wexford and many horses pass through the barn. Never one to complain, Mark works tirelessly in the background and his work is invaluable to the rest of the team.
Mark answered our questions as part of our 'Meet The Team' segment..
How did Mark first get involved in the racing industry?
Growing up with a heart murmur, Mark struggled with health issues that made it difficult to find full time work. After receiving treatment, he joined the workforce at the ripe age of 35 years old.
His grandfather owned Clydesdales and his first experience with a horse was when he was placed upon the milkman's horse at the age of four! In the years following, his experience with horses was limited, with the family dairy farm taking up most of his time.
Mark was first employed by Trevor 'Gripper' Harrison. Knowing little about horses, he began mucking out, before he was given the opportunity to work alongside 'Gripper' with the breakers. He learnt about the breaking in process and was also taught to ride.
He learnt to ride on an ex-racehorse, named 'It's A One'. The horse had a special spot in Mark's heart, having originally been his father's horse, before his subsequent passing, after which Mark was gifted a share. The gelding went on to be successful in Australia, before returning to New Zealand to retire.
Marked worked with Trevor for 3 - 4 years before working in a variety of other roles and eventually finding his way to Wexford. Beginning two weeks before our current co-trainer, Andrew Scott, Mark is our current longest standing employee!
What is Mark's current role at Wexford?
Ground Staff and mucking out specialist! No one prepares a horse's box like Mark.
What does Mark enjoy most about his role?
Being around people and horses is what brings enjoyment to Mark. He expressed that he just enjoys being at work and 'chipping away'.
What horse in the barn is Mark's Favourite?
Mark's out and out favourite horse would have to be Jakkalnuts. With a beautiful coat and a lovely nature, she has taken a shine to Mark and loves a few cuddles in the morning!
Mark's Favourite thing about Wexford Stables?
Mark has formed a great relationship with Lance and Andrew. He says, Andrew never fails to make him laugh and the team of staff we have provides a good reason to get out of bed and come to work.