If Brock Lewthwaite’s fledgling training career doesn’t take off as planned he has a ready-made position to fall back on.
Lewthwaite can return to the glitz and glamour of film making, a position he held for two years at home in New Zealand.
The 25-year-old horseman worked on The Hobbit, a trilogy of films that banked almost $3 billion and became a world-wide hit.
Produced and directed by the acclaimed, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit was entirely filmed in New Zealand throughout locations in the north and south islands.
As part of the ensemble cast, Lewthwaite was a horse wrangler, riding double and performed as a dwarf and elf in many of the riding scenes.
Lewthwaite said his role in the Hollywood extravaganza was a once in a lifetime opportunity that reignited his passion for horses.
“It was a life-changing event for me,” Lewthwaite said.
“It allowed me to travel throughout New Zealand, but it also boosted and reinforced my passion for working with horses.
“I have family history in racing and was always going to work in the industry in some capacity, but it made me realise I could make a genuine career out of it.”
That vision became authentic when Lewthwaite established a base in Perth, as far removed from New Zealand, but one he now firmly calls home.
After a European holiday to the London Olympics and Newmarket’s premier July meeting he united with David Harrison as stable foreman.
His horsemanship skills impressed Harrison who within weeks of Lewthwaite’s arrival handed over full time duties as he took a well-deserved holiday.
Lewthwaite repaid the faith when he saddled at double at Belmont Park, Benito and Pininci who won the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m).
He also spent a season under Vaugh Sigley and currently oversees prominent owner-breeder Allan Macallister’s facilities at Redwood Park.
“It’s been a lucky break to be able to work with successful people,” Lewthwaite said.
“And I arrived at a good time because they enjoyed a good amount of success.
“I took charge of Vaughn’s team when he went away with Black Heart Bart which was a great time to be involved in.
“And to be now working closely with Alan and lean on his knowledge is something that money can’t buy.
“I have been very fortunate at this stage of my career to have had the help and guidance of successful people.”
That success rubbed off for Lewthwaite when just a month after branching out on his own he celebrated his maiden win as a trainer.
The personal triumph arrived courtesy of Musical Art, a gelding bred and raced by Macalister, who won at Bunbury on December 19.
For Lewthwaite, the boy from Wanganui, it’s the perfect opening act as he attempts to leave his mark on Western Australian racing.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli