Degree prepares winning trainer for changing industry standards

29 JANUARY 2021

Degree prepares winning trainer for changing industry standards

Horse trainer Mr Darrell Burnet said his degree from Charles Sturt gave him the skills and knowledge to train winning horses and adapt to a changing industry to ensure the health and safety of all animals in his care.

  • Charles Sturt graduate puts university teachings into practice to secure horse racing win
  • Horse trainer Mr Darrell Burnet’s horse secured two first places in January 2021
  • Mr Burnet said Charles Sturt’s teachings, in line with TAWWG practices, allows him to train horses as safely as possible to the best of their abilities

Horse trainer Mr Darrell Burnet’s year has started with two race wins due to knowledge and skills he gained through obtaining a degree from Charles Sturt University.

Mr Burnet moved to Australia from Scotland in 2010 and moved to Wagga Wagga in 2016, where he commenced studying a Bachelor of Equine Science at Charles Sturt.

His approach to training and caring for hoses has always been hands-on and last year he was responsible for more than 100 horses that he started, pre-trained or re-educated for various leading trainers in southern NSW.

He credits methods learned at Charles Sturt with being able to evolve his practices and know the importance of ethical training and keeping up with industry standards.

Charles Sturt’s methods, approaches and sciences behind horse nutrition, welfare and fitness to aid in horse development allowed Mr Burnet to determine how a horse can perform to its optimum ability.

“Through studies, dissections and assignments, I was able to further my knowledge on the anatomy of a horse, understanding more about poor performance and how to implement treatment and fitness plans to assist in performance,” he said.

Race horse Idle Fancy, trained by Mr Burnet, secured first place on New Year’s Day in Gundagai and first again on Saturday 16 January in Tumut, making it two wins from three starts for the trainer.

Darrell and BrittanyMr Burnet is part of a new generation of trainers working under emerging guidelines by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Welfare Working Group (TAWWG), established to improve equine welfare.

Mr Burnet said the industry cannot be changed single-handedly but breeders and trainers can play their part to ensure the health and safety of the animals to assist in maintain a positive reputation for the industry.

He also said the University plays a role in updating teaching methods to include the changing standards.

“What I can do is try and give the horses under my care the best possible training and education in the kindest most effective ways possible to try and get the best results,” he said.

Charles Sturt Head of the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences Associate Professor Rob Woodgate congratulated Mr Burnet on the wins and praised the Equine Science team at the University.

“It is fantastic to see Mr Burnet’s combination of dedication and good science paying off and hopefully it’s the start of many more wins to come,” he said.

“All of our Equine Science staff put in a tremendous amount of effort into a very hands-on course, which considers all of the latest research and other information available, to provide graduates with valuable real-world skills and good industry links.”

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Mr Darrell Burnet, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0429 217 026 or

Photo captions: (Image 1) Idle Fancy ridden by Blaike McDougall to a win at Gundagai and (image 2) Mr Darrell Burnet and his partner Ms Brittany Heywood, both Charles Sturt graduates, purchasing a horse in January at the Magic Millions yearling sale.

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