THE KENNEDIES AT WORK
Bonginkosi Nkosi: Former assistant trainer to Dean Kannemeyer and the wife of national jockeys’ championship log leader Warren Kennedy – Barbara Kennedy recently took her trainer’s licence and saddled her first two winners at Scottsville on Sunday afternoon.
“I train alongside my brother Wayne Badenhorst and the wins were exciting because we have a really small string,” she said.
“There is a lot to look forward to now.”
Considering this brother-sister duo have only raced 14 horses, it is quite impressive that they have already registered two wins and five places.
Interestingly, Kennedy is not surprised by all this early success.
“All this was expected to be completely honest,” she added.
“The yard has been doing well and a lot of my brother’s horses were already knocking on the door. We always knew it was a matter of time before things went right for us.”
American Executive Oprah Winfrey talks about the 10 000 hours people need to put in before they can be dubbed any good at what they do.
Fortunately for Kennedy, she doubled those hours during the year’s spent being trainer Dean Kannemeyer’s right hand woman. This should explain why she is so good at what she does.
“Leaving Dean was daunting,” she admitted.
“People talk about the fact South African racing isn’t in the best state and that the future is uncertain, but I just felt like I was ready to take the leap of faith and go into this new venture with my brother.
“When I talk about the state of racing, I want you to know that this isn’t just about the money for me. I do this for the passion and love for the game.”
Now that she’s broken her duck, she assures that she feels no pressure to secure that third and maybe even 100th winner.
“I have experienced a lot with Kannemeyer, so I do well with pressure. I know it is different when you on your own, but I at least know what to expect.”
Barbara confirmed she and her brother have 20 horses in their yard at the moment and about 50 boxes.
“I believe success is like a snowball effect,” she added. “When our horses do well, we will attract the right people. Just give it time.”
Kennedy used to ride horses but now that she is a mother, has hung up her boots and revealed Warren Kennedy couldn’t be happier.
“Warren gets worried about me and now knowing I don’t ride horses at work anymore, he always says that is one less thing to worry about,” she laughed.
“My brother does ride our horses though and that is always an advantage for any yard because he can pin-point growth and detect issues.”
She has not set any goals for the season but did say one of her main aims was to win a big race in the not too distant future.
At the moment she doesn’t think she has a Grade 1 winner but reckons there may be a Listed or Grade 3 winner roaming her yard at the moment.
“A Grade 1 winner or even runner would be an achievement at the moment. I have one or two horses who could win a Listed, but nothing really stands out. For now, we will just keep working until we find one.”