Introducing Donna Ruru

18 June

The world’s current events have proved to be an extraordinary tough time for all and while the already struggling New Zealand racing scene has been hit hard it’s times like these that see the industry pull together, and it goes the same here at Westbury as we are fortunate to have a committed and supportive team of staff to help each other through these challenging times.

As the saying goes, “a successful business is only as good as it’s people”, a saying that Westbury continually strives towards to build a supportive and cultivating environment for our hard-working and dedicated team of people.

At the time when most were experiencing life on lockdown, our team of essential workers on the farm welcomed a familiar face when Donna Ruru joined the Westbury bubble, a welcomed member of support who brings a wealth of knowledge. Donna joins the Matamata yearling division as a senior member of staff, almost ten years since she last worked for Westbury at our Karaka farm.

From a show jumping background Donna has always been involved with horses one way or another including helping her father break in and a stint track work riding which she admits was “many years ago”. Her career in the thoroughbred industry started at Chatham Lodge under Gary Hackett before she first joined Westbury Stud in 2004 in the foaling department. Working at Westbury saw her skills progress into preparing yearlings and in turn becoming the Yearling Manager, a skillset which transferred to her next role as Yearling Manager of nine years at one of NZ’s oldest commercial stud farm’s, Trelawney Stud.

A career devoted to thoroughbreds has allowed for involvement with some outstanding horses such as Il Quello Veloce, Spieth and more, while it has been the knowledgeable people she has had the opportunity of meeting and working alongside which has seen her passion for the industry grow.

Now the kids have grown with her eldest heading to university Donna was ready for her next challenge and jumped when she saw the opportunity at Westbury’s Matamata farm. Soon after Donna’s appointment husband Alex came on board who was also an employee some years ago with the husband and wife duo complimenting the team now just as much as they did when working at the Karaka farm.

Donna’s goal is to rear quality weanlings and yearlings to provide buyers with the best opportunity to purchase racehorses that have been given the optimum start to life and already has her sights set on a number of weanlings which she is looking forward to shaping into standout individuals.

Working alongside a positive team is an important aspect for Donna as well as having the opportunity to inspire and grow young people in the industry. Donna’s great experience and passion for horses has been warmly welcomed and we look forward to the 2021 yearling sales with a great team of people and horses.