CLINT Lundholm was born to be a trainer, but it is a career path he was not hoping to pursue until later in life.
A successful jockey in his youth, Lundholm knew weight was going to catch up with him.
But it didn't stop him from giving it a red-hot go.
Originally working under his legendary grandfather John Lundholm, Clint quickly developed a reputation in the region as a special talent and rode countless winners.
In fact he estimated he rode about 200 winners across both the prefessional and amateur circuits.
Eventually he found his way to Sydney and had a stint with the Gai Waterhouse stable but city life did not agree with him and it was not long before he returned to the bush.
A move from the professional ranks to the picnic circuit followed in 2008 but when that ended two years later he thought he would find long-term employment in another area.
Wrong. You can take the boy away from the horses but you can’t take the horses away from the boy.
After riding work for various stables in Dubbo, including John McKinnon, Lundholm took out his trainer’s licence in the early part of 2012.
“I’ve been around horses my whole life but I didn’t figure I’d be a trainer at my age,” he said.
“I knew I’d eventually get too heavy to ride but I gave that a good go and then I wanted to try something else but I got drawn back to the horses.
“It’s good though. I’m enjoying it and even though there’s a lot of tough work involved, dad and I are getting through it and working out the best ways to do things.”
His first winner, Relentless Lad, came at Dubbo in June and another milestone came at the same track recently when he prepared his first winning double - Big Black Beauty and Sea Commands.
But he couldn’t celebrate too hard as he was in the members lounge nursing ankle and shin injuries sustained when one of his horses rolled on him one morning.
Both of the runners have sentimental value for Lundholm, with Big Black Beauty starting her career with his former mentor Tom Mulholland, and Sea Commands prepared by his grandfather, legendary Coonamble trainer John Lundholm, earlier in her career.
The Lundholm stables are a real family affair, with his father helping with the horses and his pop on hand with advice.
“Pop is always on the phone asking me about the horses and telling me things to try with them,” Clint said.
“Sometimes it’s pretty funny but if I can get half the premierships he won then I’ll be doing bloody well.
“The thing about it is you can always keep learning. There’s probably times when I think I know what I’m doing but I don’t so you have to learn and listen to what people say.”
While most young trainers start off slowly with one or two horses and build their numbers over time, Lundholm has done things differently.
He has 15 horses in work at the moment and one being broken in, and luckily his days in the riding ranks are paying dividends now.
“Justin Stanley rides a lot of work for me, and Kacie Chater and Jeff Kehoe are out here every day as well,” Lundholm said.
“Greg Ryan does a bit for me and so does Kody Nestor, so I have no shortage of people to ride them for me. Before I got hurt I was doing all the fast work on them but I’m probably out until late January so dad will be busy.
“The bad thing about it is that while I can’t work with the horses I have to hang around the office and do all the accounts and stuff that I’m not really that good with.”