Ownership Profile - Philippa Hanley

When it came to getting involved with horses, Philippa Hanley really didn’t have a choice. It was literally inscribed into her life the day she was born.

Whilst the Hanley name is well known and respected in the animal nutrition world, it is her first name that spelled out her future.

Philippa literally means ‘lover of horses.’

“I’m so horse mad,” admits Hanley. “I have always loved horses and got the bug from my late father Paul Hanley. He always had a share in a galloper.”

She was admittedly ‘thoroughbred mad’ as a teenager, but found the allure of Standardbreds ten years ago when she got involved with Cool Sandy, a Sands A Flying mare she would later breed from.

“I now have a few young horses and two racehorses. They are Cool Changes, who I bred, and Back In Black who I bought at the yearling sales. I have been extremely rewarded with both horses winning two races each since December. They are both having a well-earned break and are trained by Stephen Boyd and his team,” said Hanley.

Cool Changes is a six-year-old Changeover gelding Hanley bred from Cool Sandy and has won three races so far.  Whilst Back In Black is a lightly raced three-year-old with a record of two wins from just eight starts to date.

Some of her personal highlights so far in ownership include overcoming adversity.

“Cool Changes came back from two wind operations to win a trial and Motukarara and then his first race back. That was over the top amazing and Steve Boyd did a huge job to get him back,” explained Hanley. “And my first home bred horse, Betabecool went to Australia and the USA and won over 35 races. Beginners luck but you can’t go wrong with a Bettor’s Delight can you?”

“Buying De Lovely’s filly, Porscha, at this year’s yearling sales was a highlight too. I love her so much.”

While winning races is a huge thrill, it’s not what drives Hanley to own Standardbreds.

“My favourite thing is to be involved with a horse who just loves to race,” Hanley said. “Cool Changes and Back In Black are not champions but they just love the whole race day ritual of getting ready and being involved. As I am so horse mad I really love being a team with a keen horse and all the Boyd racing crew.”

Her animal nutrition business, Hanley Supplements, specializes in very high specification nutritional products for dogs, horses and farm animals. It allows her to follow her passion in life, but to also to give back to those who desperately need support.

“I heal animals with food and it works well. Through my business I sponsor free food to New Zealand’s dog shelters, and give hundreds of bags of my Hanley Formula to horse shows and horse rescue operations.”

The well-being of horses is never far from her mind either, sponsoring a Kaimanawa horse each muster and also supporting life after racing.

“I put a lot of cash directly into Standardbred showing and racing in New Zealand,” explained Hanley. “I’m really excited about the Standardbred as a riding horse for after they finish racing, so I help where ever I am needed.”

“For my own horses racing is only the first half of their life, it’s up to me to get them trained for a cool life after racing. This costs me but I factor this in when buying and breeding, and I will pay to have a horse saddle broken when it’s finished racing.”

Hanley is humble about her generosity.

“There are so many amazing people in this industry doing a lot more than me. I’m just a small help to a special breed of horses which I love so much.”

If you’re considering ownership Hanley would recommend it strongly to those who want a fun experience.

“Some people expect to win all the time and want cash back for their investment, these people are better off buying a rental property,” she laughs. “I would recommend it if you want to have fun or love horses. It’s addictive!”

- If you are wanting to find out more on how you can get involved in harness racing ownership, email Jess Smith [email protected] 

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