From a background in Polocrosse and thoroughbreds Gemma joined Nutrien in early December 2022 as Sales and Administrative Assistant, a position she describes as Jack of all trades.
Polocrosse took Gemma to all points of Australia from the age of nine including a memorable trip to the USA.
Straight out of high school Gemma took a position at Riverdene Stud at Wagga Wagga commencing as a stud hand, Riverdene at the time had a stallion roster of eight. Gemma got to attend yearling sales in Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide, before moving into vet nursing at their onsite vet surgery.
Gemma then moved to Baramul Stud now owned by Gerry Havey.
Baramul stud based in the Hunter Valley has a steep history in Thoroughbred breeding having stood the breed shaper Star Kingdom back in the 1950’s.
Five times champion Australian sire, seven times leading juvenile winner-producer and three times at the head of the broodmare list, Star Kingdom became the most dominant influence in the history of Australian breeding, particularly through offspring reared on the hills and dales of Baramul, which included the great Todman.
At Baramul, Gemma commenced as a vet nurse before moving to Broodmare Manager, “we had a staff of 15 to 20 people at any one time at Baramul” she said “I had the opportunity to attend sales at the Gold Coast, Sydney and even New Zealand, it was great experience” Gemma added.
Returning to her hometown in the Riverina to raise a family with husband Clayton, who she met during her time in the Hunter, Gemma took a position at Yirribee Pacing Stud as broodmare manager/office administrator.
Leaving, Yirribee Gemma took a position as Office Manager for a Mechanical business, but horses was in her blood, enter Nutrien Equine, after going through the interview process Gemma commenced in 2022 and hit the ground running with Sydney sale set down for the first week in March, just 11 weeks after Gemma put her feet under the desk at Nutrien’s Wagga office.
Nutrien Standardbreds started selling yearlings in 2022 cataloguing 250 odd yearlings for two sales Melbourne and Sydney, which grew to over 750 after picking up Brisbane and Bathurst Gold Crown Sales in 2023.
Gemma claims Bathurst was her favourite sale due to the fact it had a race meeting the Gold Crown series around the sale, or maybe because it was the second last one after a crazy month of March.
Asked if it’s time to put her feet up now the sales are over, she giggled “No way I’m about to settle Bathurst sale and our online Winter Woollies sale is open for nominations so there is pedigrees to organise for that sale plus I still have to finalise transfers forms for some 600 odd yearlings sold at our sales” Gemma added.
Nutrien Equine Standardbreds has swept into the Australian Yearling sales in a big way, and we can expect they are here to stay for many years, and with Gemma Smallmon working alongside Mark Barton, Em Yeo, and the team Nutrien is in good hands.