Racing’s Late Bloomer

Andrew Dale focussed in the mounting yard. Photo: TruPics

One of the earliest stories published on Border Cafe was a profile on horse trainer Andrew Dale. After claiming the biggest win of his short career with Lautaro in the Southern Districts qualifier at Albury, we thought we’d re-publish extracts about his inspiring journey so far.

When former Myrtleford football coach and physical education teacher Andrew Dale decided to pursue a career as a racehorse trainer in his early 50’s, many would have questioned his wisdom.


Not surprising for those who know him, in a few short years his passion and determination has seen him produce several winners and lay the foundation for a successful business.

“Most people in this industry have had conventional backgrounds, working in stables, around trainers, working as a foreman, but I didn’t,” Andrew said.

“I’ve come in and learnt from the bottom up, crammed everything into a short period of time, making a lot of mistakes along the way, but I think I have learnt a lot more doing it that way and been able to get to where I want to a lot quicker.”

Andrew Dale with Shelbyville after track work

“It’s almost an example to myself to do what you want to do, and if you want to make it in this industry you’ve got to test yourself.

“I didn’t want to be a trainer at 51 years of age to be mucking up boxes, I wanted to develop a good small business, have ten or 20 horses in work, have a couple of staff, some good owners and try and make a living.

“The way to do that is to test yourself, try and find the right horse that can compete on those bigger stages, and if they can, fantastic – if not, keep going until you find that one that can take you there, so that’s the plan.”

One of Dale’s horses, Shelbyville poking his tongue out at the opposition.

While the former football coach barely has time to reflect, given his busy schedule which often starts with driving from Myrtleford to Albury for a 5am start, he’s proud of what he’s achieved in a short period of time.

“It’s almost an example to myself to do what you want to do,” he said.

“So if it seems you can’t get to where you want to, sometimes you’ve got to say, ‘I’m just doing it’.

“I have a great family and a very supportive wife who’ve helped me all the way through.

“You go in blind to the fact it’s a very costly, expensive industry, but I couldn’t be happier.”

For more on Andrew Dale visit his website