Kane Kenny leads in first winner on Emerald Cup day.
Kane Kenny leads in first winner on Emerald Cup day. Contributed

Much more than a job

IN EVERY racing stable there are many individuals who make a country racing stable operation tick over but, in Emerald trainer Glenda Bell's racing stable, the man at the forefront of the day-to-day running is Kane Kenny, one of Bell's most loyal friends and now loyal employee.

Last week Kane was granted his strappers' licence from QRIC. Origin- ally from Dysart, the 31-year-old was diagnosed with autism from a young age. Kane has been a part of Bell's racing operation before taking out a strappers' licence when first expressed interest in the industry four years ago.

When first approached to take Kane on board, Bell didn't hesitate and she has eased him into it, giving him several life skills to help himself along the way.

Starting off with small racing chores to ensure safety with Kane's condition, Bell thinks it's great to sit back and watch on to see how capable people with autism are and how much he has developed within the stable and with his life in general.

"Kane can pretty much do anything around the stables now and look after himself with them, even the more unpredictable fierce unruly gallopers in the stable. Kane has taken it all in his stride,” Bell said.

"The role has given Kane stability in life.”

Bell said the racing game is a tough line of work with the early starts, long hours and horses that can sometimes be unpredictable and dangerous, but she has rigorous controls in place to ensure Kane is safe.

He has proven himself to accommodate the most street hardened unruly gallopers as a strapper and is learning administration skills to follow the stables work sheet, feeding procedures and has learnt to swim a horse.

Kane has developed a great rapport with horses.

"They just want to work with him not against him, he has an uncanny knack with them,” Bell said.

She said she was glad she could help Kane develop a set of skills he will be able to use for the rest of his life.

Kane said it was a big day for him earlier last year when Fastnet Flyer won the Mackay Cup with Glenda a day he will never forget the biggest day in his brief racing career.


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