Strapping, client communications, social media, photography - a woman of many talents, Lauren Russo does it all!
With an unwavering love of horses, passion for the industry and always-positive attitude, Lauren is an asset to our team, not only with the horses but also with our valued owners.
A series usually written by Lauren herself, we enjoyed reversing roles and asking Lauren her own questions as part of our 'Meet the team' segment.
How did you first get involved in the racing industry?
My late grandfather had trained a few horses in Marton back in the day. He unfortunately passed away when I was younger, before I got into racing. He was a small time trainer and a member of their local racing club for many years. I think seeing and hearing about his time in racing planted the seed in my mind that this might be something to pursue.
I first personally became involved in the racing industry at sixteen, not long after I left school. I started off at a boutique racing stable in Matamata, where I learnt the ropes and progressed through to a foreman type role. I gained a lot of experience and a good basis on the inner workings of a smaller racing stable.
I then went to work at Valachi Downs for three years. I thought it was important to understand how the thoroughbred industry worked as whole and I learnt a lot. I was lucky to be given many great opportunities and grew my knowledge in all the different facets.
However, I always knew my passion lay with racing and I inevitably ended up back in the racing industry through Wexford, at the start of 2021.
What is your current role at Wexford?
Client Liaisons and Strapper.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love the variety in my role. I am fortunate to have a job that I thoroughly enjoy and getting to work with horses and follow that passion is very rewarding.
Being able to attend trials and racedays, combined with my newly developed role in Client Liaisons, is the perfect mix for me. Getting to do a bit of photography is awesome too.
I love seeing the horses progress and I enjoy working with all the different personalities that enter the barn.
Probably travelling to races or trials with no tie ups!
What has been your proudest racing moment with Wexford?
I have been lucky enough to be a part of many exciting moments with Wexford. Obviously, in terms of stable success, Asterix’ Derby win and Dark Destroyer’s Aussie campaign were good for the team.
However, there are so many smaller moments that have been very special too. I really enjoy working with all the horses, not all of them fast ones. I think I must look as if every horse I take back post-race has won! I’m generally just very proud of them regardless of whether they win or not.
Do you have a soft spot for one horse in particular?
My personal favourite would have to be Aero de Paris, that I have a small share in. He’s very quirky but I think he’s just a super racehorse that tries so hard.
I’ve thought hard on what other favourites I have, but there’s too many! I really do like most of the barn. They’re all individuals and have unique personalities.
Everyone loves Dragon Leap, he’s extremely talented and such a neat horse.
Some of the older horses were great to work with. Divine Duke, Cha Siu Bao and Summer Passage, all recently retired, were a bit older but had a lot of personality!
One horse in the barn people should keep an eye on over the next few months?
This question is a difficult one, I can’t really decide on one. We have such a good team ready to hit the track soon and I really believe the quality of the horses in the barn is very exciting!
The older horses like Dragon Leap and Karman Line are on track for a good season, all going well.
To think of a few that haven’t been previously mentioned, we have a fair few unraced horses in the barn that have shown some ability. The Vadamos x Moons of Jupiter gelding, Turn Me Loose x Princess Snitzel filly and the Vadamos filly, Clairiere are some of the horses currently in the stable that come to mind.
The stable has been boosted by the addition of some really nice yearlings (now two-year-olds). I won’t go into those, as we have too many to list! However, I would keep a keen eye on them when they make their appearances.
What is your favourite thing about Wexford Stables?
I really do enjoy my job. Getting to be a part of all the horses’ different journeys is very rewarding and I love working for Lance and Andrew. They are very supportive and I feel very privileged to be part of the team.
It’s a really exciting time for us. We have built up a nice team of horses and getting to meet all the owners, new and old, is a real highlight.
Wexford is constantly improving and we always striving to make the stable and our owner’s experience the best it can be. The communication provided by the boys is exceptional. We are always looking to keep building upon those strong foundations. It’s been great to see the growth of the stable in recent times and I look forward to seeing it exceed even more.