Finalists – Dedication to Breeding Award

17 May, 2021


If there is one theme that is common to all categories of the Stud and Stable Staff awards, it is dedication – and it is a commodity that Carla Aliphon and Steve Brien possess in liberal doses.

In Carla’s case, it is an attribute that is obvious to everyone who knows her.

Carla is the farm manager at Cityview Farm at Gisborne South on the outskirts of Melbourne, a position she has held for the past three years, a period in which she is credited with being integral to the success of the business.

“We had six mares in mid-2018 when Carla arrived and by the end of the season we had 30. The next season we had another 65 mares and we’ll have between 85 and 100 this year,” said Cityview’s Cara Kavanagh.

“Carla has been absolutely pivotal in the farm’s success. Everything that Cityview has achieved is due to her dedication, hard work and horsemanship.”

It is a view supported by well-known equine vet Ian Douglas.

“The strength of Carla’s work ethic, her ability to solve complex problems and her management skills set her apart,” Douglas said.

Carla came to Australia from South Africa with her family as a 15-year-old and after finishing high school she studied for Diploma of Applied Science (Horse Management) at the University of Melbourne.

Before joining Cityview she worked with Greg Bennett in NSW and at Eliza Park with Brett Grayling who she credits with giving her a passion for working with broodmares that still burns brightly.

“I’m just honoured to have come this far in the awards, to be a finalist is such a reward,” Carla said.

The other finalist in the Dedication to Breeding category is Steve Brien whose commitment and devotion to the breeding industry can be summed up by his 46 years in the industry, the past 36 of them at Twin Hills Stud at Cootamundra.

There is, of course, much more to a life in the thoroughbred industry than that.

“I didn’t think of much else when I was a young bloke other than working in the thoroughbred business. I got into it as soon as I left school and I’ve stayed at it ever since,” Steve says.

Steve, who grew up in north-western NSW, has done duty at such farms as Fred Peisah’s Lomar Park Stud and for the past 36 years has been through various incarnations of Twin Hills.

“I’ve worked for Ferd Calvin, for Mike Willessee when the place was known as Transmedia Park, for Godolphin when they owned the farm and now for Olly and Amber Tait,” he said.

It is Steve’s enduring relationship with the farm, along with an impeccable work ethic, that encouraged the Tait’s to nominate him for the SSSA.

“Steve’s loyalty to his employers and dedication to the one farm is remarkable,” said Olly Tait.

“He’s a wonderful human being who has devoted his life to his family and the thoroughbred industry.

“Steve hasn’t merely provided service to the industry, he’s improved it”.

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