Racing’s not just a job for trainer Coome
ADRIAN Coome won seven Rockhampton jockey premierships and when his time in the saddle was up, he got a job in the mining industry.
That foray didn't last long and with horse racing in his blood, it was probably inevitable that he would return to the industry where he made his name.
But with weight battles too tough to overcome, at 29 years of age, Coome turned his hand to training thoroughbreds in 2018.
It's a transition that many ex-jockeys attempt, but not all succeed.
The statistics suggest that Coome, the trainer, is making a good fist of the caper.
Coome is just one of thousands of people who rely on the racing industry to make a livelihood.
With 22 horses in work and more set to arrive next week, Coome also employs a foreman, stablehand, a trainee apprentice and two trackwork riders.
New figures released by Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Racing Queensland show that the state's racing industry sustains 11,570 jobs.
Back to those Coome-specific statistics.
They show that from his last 50 runners (as of Friday morning), he has saddled up 15 winners for a phenomenal 30% strike rate.
"Racing to me isn't a job, it's a passion," Coome said.
"From the very first day I went to the races when I was roughly eight years old, I fell in love not only with the racing, colours and excitement, but the horses.
"They were the real attraction for me."
Coome didn't grow up in a racing family as such.
"My dad owned a couple of race horses and we used to go to the stables a few times a week.
"From there I started to learn to ride and quickly realised I had a very good connection and understanding of horses and it has grown since then."
A life-changing moment for Coome happened in 2017 when he had a race fall at a Twin Hills country race meeting.
"After riding for 14 years it was time for a break from the racing industry," Coome said.
"I had felt a little let down by the industry at the time and thought I had lost my passion for racing.
"I took a job in the mines working in communications which was a great experience and I really enjoyed working there and meeting new people.
"Then the yearling sales came around in 2018 and it only took that day to remember that I belonged working with horses and in the racing industry."
Last October Coome took out his trainer licence and he hasn't looked back since.
"I've been lucky enough to meet some lifelong friends through racing and met so many people from all walks of life - that would be very hard to do in any other industry.
"Racing is just such a big industry that it offers so much to all different people.
"There is a job for everyone."