From Seachange to Aussie TV role

Jayne Ivil and Seachange on their memorable Dubai - UK trip in 2008.

Jayne Ivil and Seachange were inseparable on their memorable Dubai – UK trip in 2008.

The media attention Jayne Ivil received as strapper for two-time NZ Horse Of The Year Seachange has helped her climb into an international television role. 

A talented New Zealand television presenter and producer, Ivil, a former apprentice jockey, is relocating to Victoria to join the Racing.com broadcast team.

Initially signed to Frank Ritchie, Ivil was loaned to another Cambridge trainer, Ralph Manning, a move which set in motion the steps which led to Ivil’s television career.

At Manning’s stable, Ivil began her association with 2007 and 2008 New Zealand Horse of the Year Seachange.

Her race riding career had been short-lived, but giving it up to become Seachange’s strapper wasn’t a difficult call.

“I wasn’t good enough to make it and I didn’t want to keep doing it if that was the case,” said Ivil, who did record a win in her sole ride on Seachange at Hastings on August 2, 2007. “I also struggled weight-wise.”

The hype around Seachange’s travel to Dubai and the UK was the catalyst for Ivil’s next career move.

The right person saw a mainstream television interview with Ivil and, after discussions with the Racing Board she was awarded a Broadcast cadetship.

While New Zealand racing fans have enjoyed Ivil’s presenting roles, either on horseback or birdcage-based, she has been more at home in her producer role with Trackside.

“I have been predominantly behind the camera in my role as a programming producer,” she said. “The racing.com role is a presenting one doing birdcage analysis on raceday.”

Ivil wasn’t looking for a change when she was approached by the Racing.com content manager about the role and asked if she would like to apply but she decided to grasp the opportunity.

“I sent my CV and a show reel in and they got in touch to see how serious I was about relocating. I flew to Melbourne for an interview and they made me an offer,” she said.

Ivil said she landed the role based on her background knowledge of broadcasting, gleaned from spending more time behind the camera than in front of it.

Given her family background, grandfather Garth and dad Craig both had successful training careers in the Central Districts, a career in racing would have appeared a logical option but that wasn’t the case.

Jayne Ivil, excited about her new role in racing.

Jayne Ivil, who is excited about her new role in racing.

“From a very early age I was aware of racing, I did pony club and rode trackwork and loved racing, but my interest didn’t really bloom until my early 20s,” she said.

“I was at University doing a Bachelor of Social Work and was three years through a four year degree at Massey and my partner at the time got a job in Cambridge.”

Ivil also made the move north, swapping the lecture theatre and tutorials for early morning starts and mucking out.

“I decided I wanted to become involved in racing and completely changed direction to sign on as an apprentice,” she explained. That’s when she became apprenticed to Ritchie.

One of the aspects of Ivil’s work at Trackside which she will miss is working as the floor manager on race day.

“I like the team environment, the broadcast operators and directors are a real team,” she said. “I’ll also miss producing as I’ve been so lucky to do shows like Kiwi Bred.”

Ivil’s new role with Racing.com will see her working on-course and “going wherever the races are.”

“It is a slight direction change,” she said. “I will be working with and learning from, some of the most professional people in racing who are incredible racing analysts.”

In addition to learning from those she is working alongside, Ivil is looking forward to working where racing is part of the social fabric.

“Racing is a little more celebrated in the mainstream over there,” she said.

– NZ Racing Desk