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Harness Racing New Zealand’s (HRNZ) proud tradition of employing staff involved with various facets of the industry applies in respect of its female staff (past and present) engaged in yearling sales preparation. This has included in recent years past staff members Aimee Edmonds (now training in partnership with Craig Edmonds), the late Lyn O’Connell and Stacey Markham now employed by Woodlands Stud. Natalie Gameson remains as the only employee currently preparing yearlings for the sales.


Si Si Senor Lot 478 2016


Natalie Gameson (Education & Training Manager) is an experienced preparer of yearlings for sale in conjunction with husband Jamie from their Dunvegan Lodge, Norwood (between Burnham and Dunsandel), Canterburyestablishment.




Working for Michael House during the school holidays and for Ernie Knight preparing yearlings for the annual sales for a number of years, Natalie’s passion for anything equine was catered for along with riding ponies, then hacks and competing successfully in many equestrian disciplines.

Jamie and Natalie

Natalie Taylor married Jamie Gameson in 2003 and are the proud parents of two youngsters Emily (aged 9) and John (aged 7).Jamie an established trainer (and qualified butcher)currently President of the Hororata Trotting Club whose one meeting per season is raced at the Mount Harding racecourse in Methven, timed for February 2018 on Sunday 11th, it is just prior to yearling sales timed for Tuesday/Wednesday 13/14 February. Jamie is from a harness racing family, his grandfather Jocktrained among others leading trotter Queens Cord who won the NZ Trotting FFA twice, Trotters consolation at Forbury Park Interdominions in 1965 and was fourth in the first ever Sydney Trotters Interdominion final at Harold Park in 1966. Jamie has 153 training (14 driving winsincluding his first drive) victories in his own name and previously 31 in four seasons in partnership with Tommy Behrns.

Gameson family

Some good winners for Jamie have been : Here We Go Again (1:55.6, eleven wins spread over seven seasons [Forbury Park 3, Addington 4, Invercargill, Alexandra Park, Timaru, Roxburgh], $197,881, Ladyship Stakes – 3f, Southland Caduceus Club Fillies – 2; second in Premier Mares Championship to Adore Me; third Methven Green Mile, Southern Mares Classic), the latest stable star recently produced her first foal a Sportswriter fillywhile Mapua Legend (Sapling Stakes, won first three two year old starts plus two placings from eleven 2yo starts before sale to Australia – winner in 1:53.1AUS, twenty wins in total, $187,331)


Mapua Legend Sapling Stakes


and Artishake (Southern Belle Speed Series, 1:56.2, seven wins, $92,785, dam of Topnotch Mach, 1:55.0).


With Tommy Behrns, Village Hero won the NZYSS Northern Hemisphere Time 2yo pace before going to North America, winning in 1:50.3US, Burlington Pace at Woodbine while Thanksgiving was 2yo colt or gelding Trotter of Year after scoring in NZSS and NZYSS races for juvenile trotters.

Franco Hampton


Harness Racing Career (s)

The Canterbury Harness Cadet School’sleading light where for three years running Natalie finishedas top graduate at a time when Jack Mulcay was in charge and champion horseman Jack Smolenskiwas closely involved in the training of new recruits. Following a summer break working for leading yearling sales preparerDavid Shadbolt, Natalie and Jamie decided to venture out on their own to prepare their own and client’s yearlings for the NZ Premier (National) Yearling Sales which are held at Christchurch’s Agricultural Park, Curletts Road.

Natalie at Garrards

As well as working at the Gameson stables and preparing yearlings, for seven years Natalie was the face of Garrard’s Horse & Hound shop at Addington Raceway. Managing the shop that was initially locatedin the now demolished Public Stand and latterly as part of the new stables complex, this involved meeting clients’needs whether they be in the thoroughbred, standardbred or greyhound fields. With Garrards being an Australian company, sourcing of many items came from Australia. Items supplied to clients included feed supplements, foodstuffs, gear, clothing, books and other related items.

Natalie was responsible for looking after Garrard’s sponsorship interestsoften being involved with race night presentations. At the time Natalie was working for them, Garrards were sponsors of the Sires Stakes series.

Following her seven years with Garrards, Natalie took up the position of Education & Training Coordinator (now Manager) with Harness Racing New Zealand. Her varied role helps train and encourage the next generation of enthusiastic harness racing participants. Among the activities involved in this role are :

  • Cadets : Provide the education and training for an NZQA National Certificate in Equine, levels 3 and 4, 1) provide training packages, presentations, guest speakers, organize practicalassignment days etc throughout country for cadets 2) Level three and four cadets partake in regional Primary ITO Cadet of Year contests initially at regional level – Canterbury, Southland and Northern (North Island) prior to a national final held annually in Christchurch. The winner receives their Award amongst their peers at HRNZ Annual Awards night 3) annual regional prizegivingsto celebrate the classroom success of the cadets


  • Gateway programme : HRNZ Education Department provide wide educational opportunities throughout many of our high schools enabling year 11 and above (forms 5 to 7 in old language) to attain credits towards NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) qualification in equine related standards. HRNZ assist with work placement and work experience assignments for students


  • Kid Kartz :1) assist with the running of the Kidz Kartz NZ Cup held at Addington on Show Day with preview at Riccarton racecourse (grass track) on Wednesday of NZ Cup week 2) assist in the promotion of Kidz Kartz nationally and support drivers chosen to represent NZ in Australia annually 3) in the process of getting a National Council up and running to ensure the longevity of Kidz Kartz in NZ

Yearling Sales Preparation

Jamie and Natalie love the yearling preparation side of the business, it gives them a chance to work together complementing each other in what they do. Jamie is the feeding guru and is meticulous about what the yearlings are fed to have them conditioned perfectly for sale day. Natalie looks after the grooming and preening of the yearlings. You could say that Jamie gets them looking their best from the inside, while Natalie deals with getting them outwardly glowing, one doesn’t work without the other.

Jamie and Nat


The yearlings come in around Christmas time and a lot of the work on them is done at night once the kids are in bed. Both Ernie Knight and David Shadbolt were fastidious about grooming, which is something Natalie has kept on as she believes it is a great help, not only to improve their coats and muscle tone but also helps in bonding and gaining the yearlings trust of their preparers.

Gamesons in Australia


Each yearling gets lots of paddock time with a chance to stretch their legs. The days leading into the sales consist of lots of washing, clipping, polishing and generally trying to keep them relaxed and happy.


Public trainer and open driver Katie Cox when asked what her most memorable moment was at the sales commented “When I was working for Natalie and Jamie Gameson and watching how they put their horses through sales prep. They were so thorough and left no stone unturned”.

Gamesons and staff


In addition to preparing their own yearlings for sale, their main vendorsin earlier days were Danny and Heather Boyle and Gary Allen while those they have been preparing yearlings for sale over the past couple of seasons have included Mike Stratford (Classiebawn Stud, Prebbleton), Jubilee Park, Cambridge (Ray and Dianne Kennedy) and Toomebridge Stables, Blenheim (PJ Gleeson).

Natalie Gameson


Among the more successful yearlings that Jamie and/or Natalie have prepared for the yearling sales are :


  • Likmesiah, 1:55.9, $427,965, 13 wins, Met Syndicate horse that won NZSS – 2 , NZ Derby, Pelorus Classic, NZ 4yo Championship
  • Badlands Bute, 1:56.6, $328,365, 12 NZ wins, 1 AUS, NZ Breeders Produce – 2, multiple Derby winner – NZ/GN/Gold Coast, NZ 3yo C&G Pacer of Year
  • Thanksgiving, T2:03.7, $50,928, 4 wins in five starts, NZSS/NZYSS Trot – 2, NZ 2yo C&G Trotter of Year, sire
  • Miracle Man, 1:50.0US at Meadowlands, $376,945, 10 NZ/4 North American wins, Franklin Cup, Kumeu Stakes/Cambridge Classic at 4, Spring Cup
  • Bondy, 1:49.2US, millionaire, Kaikoura/Northern Southland/New Brighton/Hunter Cups, Hannon Memorial, ID heats (2); 46 wins – 19 NZ, 4 AUS, 23 North America
  • Galleons Assassin, T1:55.2US, $495,411, 10 NZ, 3 AUS, 20 North American wins, NZ Trotting Stakes/Aust Breeders Crown at two, NZYSS Trot/NZ Trotters Derby at three, NZ Trotters Championship at four, Central Otago FFA/Southern Lights Trot, NZ 2yo C&G Trotter of Year/Australian 2yo Trotter of Year
  • Kathy Galleon, T2:06.0, $39,661,3 wins in six starts, NZYSS Trot and Cambridge Trotting Stake at two, NZ 2yo Filly Trotter of Year; dam of three sub two minute trotters – Thebestlove, Courchevel and Chevron Express (T1:57.0, NZ Trotters Oaks/Hambletonian, NZ 3yo Filly Trotter of Year)
  • Chief Inanga, 1:59.2, 4 NZ, 9 AUS wins, $105,005
  • Locharburn, 1:55.4, $399,590, 14 wins, NZ Derby, Easter/NZMTC Summer Cups, Elsu Classic – 3, Maurice Holmes Vase
  • Galleons Sunset, Interdominion Trotters champion, T2:04.7, $125,950, 12 NZ, 2 Aus wins, T1:58.9, $189,250, Bill Collins Mile, total earnings $315,200


Natalie has received a best presented colt award forHuwntstobamillionare (Il Vicolo/Rare Moment, a winner for Kirk Larsen) at the 2001 National sales,a bestpresented filly award for Natural Woman (Badlands Hanover/Natural Franco, winner of three in NZ for trainer Tony Herlihy, p10, 1:52,0US, $570,886) at the 2002 National sales plus lots of Best Presented finalists over the years.

Ohoka Bud Lot 69 2012


The Gameson’s first $100,000 sale yearling was Bute Brother (2 NZ, 5 Aus wins, 1:56.3, $42,038), a full brother to multiple Derby winner, Badlands Bute, NZ/GN/Gold Coast Derbies, 1:56.6, $328,365, both colts by Badlands Hanover/Te Phyno.The most recent $100,000 sale yearling prepared by the Gameson’s was Circles (Christian Cullen/Blackbird Fly gelding) purchased by TD and AJ Taylor, Pleasant Point at the 2015 sales ($100,000). Norwegian Wood Breeding Ltd, Leeston (principal Don Bates) was the vendor. A non-winner in NZ, in Australia, he is the winner of five in Victoria, $33,220, four wins and 1:58.0 as a three year old.

Circles Lot 198 2015


Circles Lot 198 2015 ring


Another sale topper was Paradise Lane (Lindy Lane/Galleons Paradise colt) who raced once, unplaced in NZ before trotting a T1:56.3US time as a seven year old in North America, $139,266.


Apart from those horses already mentioned like Here We Go Again, horses bred and/or raced by the Gameson’s that have hadgood success include :


  • MUSTANG MACH – eight two year old starts for a maiden win at Invercargill in hands of Tim Williams (2:01.4) before sale to Australia where he recorded a further seventeen wins (1:55.2 AUS, WA Fremantle HRC 4yo Classic). Brought back to NZ as a four year old by trainer Dean Bruan, Dexter Dunn drive him to victory in 2012 NZ Messenger (1:58.0), with fourths in Taylor Mile and Harness Jewels. Exported to North America, he recorded a further 13 victories – overall 32 wins, $494,045US (1:58.0NZ, 1:55.2AUS, 1:52.3US)

Mustang Mach bred, exported USA

  • MAINLAND KEY, recorded four NZ victories for Jamie Gameson (three at three and one at four) including first start at Gore, Nelson for Blair Orange and at Addington (1:59.1) and Blenheim for Craig D. Thornley before export to North America. Winner in 1:49.2US at Harrahs, Philadelphia, $838,548US
  • MEADOW FOAM, six wins, three for Behrns/Gameson and three for Jamie Gameson at Alexandra Park, Addington (2:00.7) and Invercargil. Exported to Australia, winner of further four races (three at Albion Park, 1:57.9)


  • MOVE OVER, a sales buyback by vendors with seven wins when trained by Gameson’s at Nelson (2), Rangiora, Addington, Oamaru, Wairio and Kaikoura, 1:57.2; exported to Australia where won further seven races, 1:58.2AUS


  • SOONENUFF, winner of three races in hands of Blair Orange at Kurow (Oamaru) and Timaru (twice). Bred from since, dam of three winners from four to the races including Mustang Mach (see above), Sharpenuff (Natalie and Jamie breeders but not owners; four wins) and Mustang GT (two wins, Jamie trainer)


Soonenuff and foal


  • (OUR) MILLWOOD MAIZIE, maiden winner at Reefton (2:07.0, placed in third start at Winton in 1:55.4 and since her export to Australia a further ten victories recorded (3 NSW, 7 QLD including5 at Albion Park), 1:55.5, $88,751


  • HOLIDAY LOVER, seven win Dream Vacation trotter ( Invercargill, Cambridge, Rangiora, Addington 3), second NZSS 3T Championship and GN Trotters Derby for Jamie Gameson plus solitary Addington victory for David and Catherine Butt; T2:01.4 (placed in T1:57.4), $81,543


2018 NZ Premier Yearling Sales entries :


A breakdown and brief resume of the yearlings that the Gameson’s are preparing for the 2018 NZ Premier Sales follows – seven colts, one filly –


Mike Stratford’s yearlings – Classiebawn Stud :


Lot 268CLACHANBURN,Mach Three colt, first foal out of five win mare Stradowan (1:59.2, $57,882), placed in 1:53.9 at Ashburton, second in Nelson Cup and Rangiora Winter Cup, third in Marlborough Winter Cup. Colts third dam is open class mare Classiebawn (NZ Breeders Stakes, dam of nine winners), closely related to Glengowan, Adsdean and from family of recent classy pacers Lancercost, Montana Falcon, Monifieth


Lot 381 CLASSIE WASHINGTON, Washington VC colt, first foal from placed Sokys Atom mare Kilmorich TT1:59.4 from placed mare Gentility, dam of eleven race winning foals including Brindsmead (dam of Smithy), Shotaway (1:53.1US), Strathrowan (1:59.9, dam of Ardens Fame, dam of Tintinara 1:52.3; Dazzling Arden 1:57.6, Bendigo Classic; Ardens Storm, 1:50.4US, $413,175; Ardens Southee 1:59.5, $107,777), Stonechrubie (1:58.4, Wairio Cup, dam of Penscroft [dam of Croft Bay 1:54.2; McPocket 1:53.5; Montana Falcon 1:53.2, $245,873, NSW Sapling, QLD Easter Gift; Pat Campbell], Monaveen [dam of Chantrey 1:55.6, Canberra/Wagga Pacers Cups; Our Walden Bury 1:53.8, $133,858]. Fourth dam is Classiebawn


Lot 401 BUNDORAN, Sir Lincoln colt, third foal from race winning Christian Cullen mare Mullaghnore (1:58.7TT), out of Vance Hanover winning mare Gowanlea, dam of nine winners including Adsdean (1:51.3US, $275,677, NZSS 4yo H&G South Island), Stradowan (1:59.2), Glendowan (dam of Glengowan 1:52.1, $328,399, SA Derby, NSW Media/Joe Isley Cups), whose dam is classic winning race mare and producer Classiebawn (NZ Breeders Stakes)


Lot 421 LOCHIEL, Sir Lincoln colt, eighth live foal from In The Pocket mare Penscroft (refer lot 381 above), 2:01.1, $21,216, third Southland Oaks. Grand dam Stonecrubie, third dam Gentility, fourth dam Strathmea and Classiebawn is his fifth dam


Lot 434 SUPREME WASHINGTON, Washington VC colt, ninth live foal of Holmes Hanover mare Supreme Holmes (1:58.8, NZSS 3yo Silver), dam of winner Supreme Christian and Lauriston Supreme (dam of Supreme Mach, 1:50.3US, US$292,344, NZSS 2yo Silver, Redcliffe Derby, Patrons Purse; Glenlochar, 1:52.4, $117,025). Grand dam is Supreme Adios, sister/half-sister to several Derby winners and dam of seven winning foals including Most Happy Star (dam of Windshield Star,dam of U Legend, Top Of The Line; Star Rider, dam of Double R; Christian Star, dam of Brilliant Strike), Smokey Tabella (dam of Rocket Warrior), Supreme Knight (dam of Supreme Step 1:55.0US)


Lot 458 CRANBOURNE, Sir Lincoln colt, fifth foal of race winner Classiealba (1:59.8TT, dam of two winners) from good top juvenile filly Lady Alba (1:59.4TT, $44,335, ten wins, 2yo Filly of year), dam of  seven race winners including Ladys Day (1:59.8, $61,795, seven wins), dam of Baptism Of Fire whose six winning foals include millionaire Highview Tommy (1:55.2, 15 NZ wins, 2 AUS wins, Welcome Stakes, Jewels Emerald – 2, Southern Supremacy, Superstars 4/5 Championship, Franklin/Ballarat Cups, ID Pacing Consolation). This is Estella Amos family through Tondeleyo, Margaret Hall (Orbiter) and Kenwood Rowan (The Falcon Strike)


David Rankin’s yearlings – Rankin Bloodstock Ltd


Lot 250RED ENVY, from the third crop of Auckland Reactor, this filly is out of one win Fake Left mare Sparks Under Fire (2:05.4), dam of six race winning foals including Burning (5 NZ including NZSS 2yo Silver, 12 AUS, 9 NA wins, p7 1:53.1US, $185,202), Ears Burning (7 wins, 1:56.2, $83,045, Northern Southland Cup, NZR 3yo 2000mM 2:24.7/1:56.4), Fire One (2 NZ wins, 1:54.7/3 QLD including 2 Albion Park wins, 1:56.5, total earnings $27,419). Sparks Under Fire is a half-sister to Sparks A Flyin (1:52.0US, $627,218, NSW Oaks, Nevele R Fillies, dam of Alpha Rock, Art Union, Bettors Fire, Safedra) and Jingle Belle Rock (dam of JD Fortune, Bettor Rock On)


Lot 277SPY MASTER, anArt Major Colt, fourth foal from lightly raced and placed Falcon Seelster mare The Secret(from Sweet Georgia, winner, 1:57.2TT, dam of Irish Kath 1:52.0US) who placed second in NZSS 2f heat and NZYSS Graduette. Descending from the Miranda Star branch of Miranda Bay family (Christopher Vance, Alert Motoring, Better B Amazed, Mikes Pal), The Secret’s first three foals (all colts) aged two – four have yet to race


Contact details for Gameson Racing Stables : 93 Telegraph Road, RD7, Christchurch 7677


Website:    www.gamesonracing.co.nz

Email:       gamesonracing@xtra.co.nz
Jamie:      0274 539 410
               03 325 4440

Natalie:    0274 693 665


Natalie can rightly claim at present to be Harness Racing New Zealand’s “leading lady” when it comes to yearling sales preparation.




Peter Craig


9 January 2018



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