Parker has been surrounded by horses for as long as
he can remember. A native of the South Coast of NSW,
Kerry's first exposure to horses came with the trail
riding business part owned by his father.
his early teens, Kerry knew that his future lay with
horses and the following years were spent learning the
trade as a strapper and track rider under trainers such
as Errol Amos at Canterbury, Sid Barker at Nowra and
David Balfour in Adelaide.
Kerry absorbed valuable lessons from each of these masters,
the seminal point of his career was unquestionably the
five years he spent with the high profile and well respected
Randwick trainer Les Bridge. During his stint at Sir
Dapper Lodge, Kerry rode and tended to a long string
of top class thoroughbreds including Kensei, Row of
Waves and Just Blooming.
Kerry's most fondly remembered and successful association
in this period was undoubtedly as the strapper for Bridge's
diminutive champion Drawn, which enjoyed multiple Group
One success, including the Rosehill Guineas, All Aged
Stakes and Caulfield
the best part of a decade working in and around stables,
Kerry returned south to pursue his long held ambition
to ride thoroughbreds competitively. Having obtained
his amateur license, Kerry rode three winners and a
third placing from four starts on debut at a picnic
meeting at Kembla Grange.
Kerry's success as a jockey was to be short lived, with
his professional riding career cruelly ended by a serious
knee injury incurred on the rugby field only days after
his outstanding debut.
to stay close to the sport that he loved, Kerry branched
out and secured a trainers licence in 1991, establishing
his own stables at Kembla Grange where, to this day,
his horses enjoy the peace and serenity of the picturesque
provincial course which boasts one of the finest racing
surfaces in the country.
Since taking out his licence, Kerry has maintained a
small, albeit expanding, team of consistent horses,
enjoying regular success on the country and provincial
circuit, as well profitable forays to the city where
he has a steadily growing list of winners, including
a recent double at Royal Randwick.
career highlight to date came when gutsy stayer Don
Raphael scored a black type treble in the spring of
2004. Owned by pillars of the Australian Racing Industry
Mr and Mrs Don and Val Storey, Don Raphael won three
on the trot with the Tattersals Plate (Listed), Colin
Stephen Quality Hcp (G3) and Saab Quality Handicap (G2),
before taking his place in The Melbourne Cup field,
Kerry's second starter in the big race.
More recently, Kerry has had great success with Brilliant Light, an unfashionably bred and slow maturing gelding which Kerry picked out as a yearly purely on type. He saw potential in the gangly bay, and his patient and nurturing approach has paid handsome dividends, with the son of Fantastic Light stringing together a run of six wins from eight starts between the Spring of 2009 and Autumn 2010, including the Gr2 Ajax Stakes, the Listed Royal Parma Stakes and a gutsy 3rd in the 2010 Emirates Doncaster
In many ways, the careers of Don Raphael and Brilliant Light typify Kerry's
horsemanship and tenacity. Don Raphael had been slated
for early retirement after an unpromising start to his
career, while Brilliant Light had to be nursed through a series of setbacks which tested the faith of all involved. However, Kerry saw untapped potential in both, and his perseverance and patience enabled both horses to reach their potential.
Parker is a hands on trainer with a genuine and contagious
passion for his sport. Drawing on his previous experience
as a jockey, more often than not Kerry rides his own
track work, giving him invaluable insight into the fitness
and ability of each of his charges. This has paid dividends
in the past where Kerry has been able to identify potential
in horses where others had not, as exemplified by Don
also enjoy unrestricted access to Kerry who makes himself
available at all times to answer their questions and
keep them in touch with the progress and plans of their
pride and joy. He also has a keen eye for yearlings
and is willing to accompany a potential owner to the
sales ring or purchase on a client's behalf.
Kerry Parker is by no means the biggest trainer in the
game, but his accessibility, affable nature and hands
on approach, ensures that his owners' racing experience
is an enjoyable and successful one.