Brothers Craig and Tony Jamieson joined Cranbourne’s harness training ranks after moving from New Zealand.
The Jamisons were introduced to the sport at an early age with both parents being amateur trainers, and both started working in stables after leaving school. Craig was an accomplished junior driver and worked with some of Australasia’s leading racing stables while his younger brother Tony is a Grade A farrier.
In 2017, they formed a training partnership, finding success on the right path while combining training with full-time work. However, the lack of racing opportunities in their home country, combined with stagnant prize money, meant growing their full-time operation and training was impractical.
“We felt like we were on a hamster wheel back home, it was like we weren’t going anywhere,” Tony said.
“Craig emailed the club to see if there was room and Dave Scott got back to us and it all went from there.”
Following this initial investigation, the Jamesons visited the extensive training facilities at Cranbourne Racecourse in April and from then on the decision to move was quickly confirmed.
“To be honest, we were blown away when we got here; we just don’t have that at home,” Tony said.
“We thought that if we came and we didn’t like it, that would decide us and we would stay at home. But it was quite the opposite – all the guys here have been so welcoming – can’t say a negative word about it to be honest.
“We’ve only been here not even a week, but it gives us a good impression. We’re under no illusions, but we’ll do our best and can’t wait to see where it takes us.
The Jamiesons have brought five horses with them across the ditch and will be joined by six local horses as they build their team towards their goal of 20 horses.
Tony expects that, all going well, they will have their first runners in about six weeks. In the meantime, he is looking forward to settling into their new surroundings before their families join them in the coming weeks.
“The horses traveled better than I really thought. I thought they would be a bit more jaded but they got here fine. It’s going to take some getting used to, but it’s like the Plaza Hotel compared to what we’re used to,” Tony said.
“We miss our families already and can’t wait for them to show up when the kids are done with the school term. It’s a big step forward, but they’re excited and there are so many more opportunities for them too.
The Cranbourne Training Center now houses 13 trainers with around 55 working horses on site.