Montana’s Racing Career on Track

05 April 2017

Montana McStay is fast tracking her dream of a career as a harness trainer.

The 19-year-old has begun a 12 month Harness Racing Internship offered by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) and Community College Gippsland’s Harness Training Centre.

Montana McStay leanring to break in horses at Chris Hunter's stable Photo Karyn O'Brien

Photo above: CCG / HRV Harness intern Montana McStay learns with trainer Chris Hunter at stables in Trafalgar.

The internship provides a paid position working in racing stables and includes enrolment into the Nationally Accredited Certificate IV in Racing (Racehorse Trainer) delivered at Community College Gippsland’s Harness Training Centre, incorporating additional mentorship and professional development.

Montana’s passion for working with horses began when she started a VET in Schools course (Certificate II in Racing (Stablehand) at Community College Gippsland’s Harness Training Centre at Warragul while she was at secondary school.

“I caught the bug and continued the next year to complete my Certificate III in Racing (Advanced Stablehand) and now I’m working towards becoming a race horse trainer studying for a Certificate IV in Racing (Racehorse Trainer).”

In addition to providing training, this internship will give Montana mentorship and exposure to leading industry trainers where she will work in a number of stables in Australia and overseas.

“My first position has involved working with trainers Chris and Glenn Hunter at their stables in Trafalgar which has really opened my eyes to what it is like to work in the industry. The stable specialises in breaking in young horses for racing and my first few weeks have been spent working with new horses from the Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sales.”

“It has been incredibly challenging but over the weeks I have learnt so much and gained skills that I will take throughout my career.”

Montana will spend one week at Harness Racing Victoria’s Flemington headquarters to experience its inner workings, including meeting with stewards and media staff.

She will then spend time at the stables of leading woman driver Kerryn Manning in Great Western.

The 12 month HRV/CCG harness internship, now in its second year, aims to recognise and nurture rising talent giving them an opportunity to further develop their skills experience and confidence to take their career forward.

Community College Gippsland Chief Executive Officer, Sue Geals, said last year’s first intern to the program, Michelle Phillips, grew in leaps and bounds and is now progressing in the industry as a result. We wish our 2017 Harness Intern, Montana McStay all the very best in developing her skills and experience as a rising star in the harness industry.”

For information on Community College Gippsland’s equine courses go to:

CCG./ HRV Harness Intern 2017 Montana McStay photo Karyn O'Brien

For further information, please phone (03) 5622 6000 or email