Meet the team

Sarah Gardiner

General Manager

Sarah is passionate about providing a positive experience for all horses and setting them up for their career whether it be in racing or another chosen discipline once they’re retired.

Sarah has a wealth of knowledge, an individualised approach and has been surrounded by horses from a young age. She grew up riding and teaching children to ride. She has been riding since age of five, attended pony club and competed in jumping all throughout her teens. In her early 20’s she travelled to the USA to teach children to ride.

Her passion for breaking in and educating young horses was fostered throughout her five years working alongside some of Australia’s greatest horseman when breaking in stockhorses on large scale cattle stations in North Queensland and Northern Territory. During those five years she was assisting in training and competing challenge horses and camp drafting.

Whilst studying a double degree in Business and Agriculture University of New England, Sarah worked with racehorse trainers around the Ballina area, from here her passion for racehorses grew. Sarah worked for Aquis Farm for five years before deciding to start her own business, Hinterland Thoroughbreds. She was involved in the inception of Aquis Farm and have worked across all aspects of the business – breeding, racing and education.

Sarah has worked alongside many of the country’s top trainers including Peter Moody, Gerald Ryan, Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, Annabel Neasham, Kacy Fogden, Steven O’Dea, Tony Gollan, Toby Edmonds, Ciaron Maher, Mick Price, Hayes & Hayes.

James Shepherd

Head Breaker

James grew up on the family farm near Murrurundi where his father bred horses. James says that his two biggest influences when making the decision to work with young horses were his grandfather and father.

As a young child through to his early 20s, he spent a lot of time with his father. It was his father who passed on his skills in handling foals, breaking in and training horses.

Upon leaving school, James worked at the world-renowned Polo Operation Elysian Fields as polo groom. In the off season, he would assist with everything from breeding, weaning, breaking in and training young horses. He spent a lot of time travelling between NSW, QLD,WA, Argentina and New Zealand playing polo and training young horses as well as working in the UK for a period.

He took a job at Ellerston where for 5 years, he broke in, trained and educated horses where the focus was sending them to the UK. He then spent a few years breaking and training horses for himself between Australia and NZ until he settled in QLD and took up a position with Aquis Farm breaking in and pre training thoroughbreds.

Naturally, when the opportunity arose to be apart of this exciting new venture, James jumped at the idea and came aboard Hinterland Thoroughbreds as our head breaker, bringing years of knowledge and experience with him.

Horses that James has broken in include: Ashema, Maotai, Queen of Wizardry, Jessica Rabbit, Daisy Street, Selling Sunset.