THE RIDE FROM PONY CLUB TO THE MOUNTAIN TOPS
IT'S little wonder Julien Welsh would one day pursue a full time career in horses - and it's not really a surprise that he has reached the upper echelon of his trade.
He had the perfect start when he spent his early years in Victoria's high country, near Mansfield, where his love of horses started and then blossomed.
He was lucky to be encouraged by his parents who bought Julien his own pony which he competed on at pony club.
As his riding skills and ambitions increased, Julien became a leading mountain racing rider for 13 years and then relocated to Melbourne where he became a professional jumps jockey before increasing weight forced him out of the race saddle after four years.
One of the highlights of his life in the high country was his role as a "crack rider" in the Man From Snowy II, which starred Sigrid Thornton and Tom Burlinson.
Once in Melbourne and with his career over the obtacles finished, Julien decided to start his own business in breaking in and training horses and in 1996 became a licensed trainer. After starting with only a couple of horses, his business slowly built up which enabled him to abandon his plumbing business. His stables became constantly full of new youngsters and pre-trainers.
Trainers knew the job would be completed at the highest level by Julien.
As his businesss continued to grow, Welsh's operation spread from his stables adjoining the old Pakenham racecourse to a 50 acre former dairy farm at Pakenham South.
Booralite Park, under the owner/directorship of Julien and his wife, Mel, has operated predominantly as a breaking in and pre-training business at Pakenham South since 2006. Julien also trains a handful of racehorses and has been thrilled to win many races.
Now a dedicated state of the art horse property, Booralite Park has an abundance of large, safely fenced paddocks, round yards, a racehorse barn, large stable blocks which are all spacious and with views, a treadmill, enclosed arena, 10-horse walker, practice barriers and a 1200m sand track.
The newest addition is the fully roofed arena.
Horses are also transported to the nearby Cranbourne Training Complex and for beach work at Coronet Bay.
THIS racing.com feature/video gives a deeper insight into Julien Welsh's life as a leading horse breaker and the enjoyment he gets from being a clerk of the course.
Welsh and his team at Booralite Park have the reputation of getting the job done properly and with a minimum of stress to the valuable thoroughbreds they are either breaking in, pre-training or re-educating.
A long list of trainers who use the expertise at Booralite Park include Team Hawkes, Mike Moroney, Mick Kent, John Moloney, John Sadler, Colin Little and Peter Gelagotis.
The aim for Booralite Park is to provide the highest quality breaking and pre-training services available in Australia to both domestic and overseas trainers and owners so they can maximise the potential of their thoroughbreds.
The addition of Booralite Park at Swanpool is another bonus for owners and trainers. The 236 acres property is located in Victoria's beautiful high country and offers first class spelling, as well as quarantine services for horses heading to overseas markets. With the backdrop of rolling hills, the Swanpool property provides the perfect care and atmosphere for horses recuperating from the rigours of training or those needing time to grow, develop and mature.
RETIRED CHAMPION ORANGE COUNTY ADDS TOUCH OF COLOUR
JULIEN Welsh always had his eyes on the champion sprinter Orange County.
When injury forced the gelding's retirement, Welsh was given the Group 1 winner which had been trained by Brian Mayfield Smith to Group 1 glory.
"OC" is one of Welsh's clerk of course horses and plays a leading role during the Spring Carnival.
But he has a crucial role at Booralite Park where he is used as a lead pony for the young breakers.
Welsh jokes that the gelding is more intelligent than some people he knows. Perhaps he wasn't joking.
Former galloper Freespins, known as "Bowie" (pictured left), is another of Julien's clerk of the course horses and a valuable asset to the stables.
THE horses are broken in by Julien Welsh at his facility - Booralite Park - located in Ellett Road, Pakenham South. Julien offers the complete breaking in experience for young thoroughbreds. His standards in care and education are second to none and this shows in the quality of the final product - all his horses are educated to a level where they are ready to go into training, taking trackwork, standing in the barriers, the day to day business of being taken to the track, worked, hosed and rugged, in their stride. COLIN LITTLE Caulfield trainer.
HOOFNOTE: THIS unsolicited description of Booralite Park appears on Group 1 trainer Colin Little's website.