Erica Robertson and Da Vinci Girl  Photo: Race Images

Erica Robertson: Self-proclaimed Racing 'Junkie'

27 April 2022

We caught up with Canterbury based Erica Robertson to learn a little more about her background in racing, current role and a mare by the name of Da Vinci Girl who has a very special place in her heart.

How did you first get involved in the racing industry?

My family had always been involved. Mum was a jockey and still rides track, Laura (sister) is a Godolphin Flying Start graduate and is doing cool things in Sydney. Two of my aunts trained in Awapuni and Foxton back in the day, Dad and two of my uncles rode for Eric Temperton (whom I'm named after) before getting too chunky! Try as I might, I couldn't resist the call!

Tell us a little about your current role.

I work for the Pitman family in Christchurch. The job involves riding, groundwork, racedays, getting horses to the races and away trips. I'm currently working on getting my trial rides up and looking to better myself as a rider. 

What's your favourite part of your role?

It has to be the horses. How lucky are we that we get to call it work? I also enjoy the people I get to meet; there are some unreal characters, with some awesome stories in the game. Everyone's got a smile or a bit of banter, I’ll take either! 

And your least favourite part? 

Saying goodbye. Some are slow, some are sold - either way nobody likes a goodbye. Horses can be heartbreakers.

Is there a particular horse who has a special place in your heart? Who/ why?

The who is easy, it has to be Da Vinci Girl. The why? That's trickier as some days she does like to test me! She's a strong type, beautiful to look at and is really coming into her own. I also have a soft spot for Carson River, he's the perfect man.

What is your favourite racing memory to date?

It’s hard to narrow it down! Da Vinci Girl's first win was very special. It's the small things, we'd been very patient getting her there! Thank God for masks because I was definitely ugly crying.

I also got a real kick out of my first trial ride, for Mum on her horse, that was special for me. I'm fizzing just thinking of some of the memories, and there’s more to come! 

Erica and Da Vinci Girl

What advice would you give someone looking to enter the racing industry?

Get stuck in! There's a role for everyone in this game and everyone's welcome. Make sure you put your hand up, people appreciate it and it doesn't go unnoticed.

Why do you love racing?

It's a real buzz. I'm hooked on those small moments of reward. Whether it's a baby that just clicks with something you're asking of it, or horse that's finally brave enough to take the gap. Or if it's cold and dark but then the sun comes up and it's an unreal sunrise and you're out there with your best  four- legged mate. Those moments sustain you and then those big moments on raceday fill your cup. I'm a junkie for it! Gotta love good folk and fast horses. 

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