ABOUT KERRY PARKER

Kerry 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.

By 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.

While 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.

However, 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

Guineas.

Kerry as a successful jockey at the Fisher's Ghost picnic meet

After 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.

However, 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.

Determined 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.

His 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.

Don Raphael wins the 2004 Saab Quality Hcp at Flemington

Brilliant Light wins the 2010 Royal Parma Stakes (Listed)

Kerry 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 Raphael.

Owners 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.

 

 
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