Sunshine Coast trainer Darryl Hansen has been training horses since 1993 and prides himself as a “hands on” trainer. Darryl remembers exactly when he realised his calling in life was to train thoroughbreds.
“I was 12 and I was at school. The penny dropped one lunchtime. I remember saying to myself: ‘I’m going to become a trainer’.”
Unable to strap on his trainers’ badge until 21 (due to Queensland Rules of Racing), Darryl spent the following years keeping his hands in the industry, gaining experience that was crucial for when the badge was finally in place.
“The first horse I had, Tommy Boy, ran a couple of placings then won three straight.” The train had pulled out of the station.
“Once horses and racing are in your blood, it’s in your blood, full stop. My grandparents had been taking me to the races since I was six.”
That was in Townsville where his best mate back in those school days, Johno Lees, remains just that today.
“We played sport together and we’d laugh at anything. It’s exactly the same today.”
When the Lees decided to get into ownership there was going to be only one trainer. And with shares in six horses in the Hansen stable today, a whole bunch of fun has been enjoyed.
“Racing at times can test your patience, so it’s important you make it fun. The critical point of that is that you actually can.”