Kody Nestor is walking away from life as a horse trainer, stating he simply wants to "take a step back and enjoy my life".
A leading bush trainer who earned more than $1 million in prizemoney last season, Dubbo-based Nestor announced on Wednesday night he would be taking indefinite leave from the sport from November 15.
Decades of almost non-stop involvement in the sport was a factor behind the decision, as Nestor felt he needed a break before his work took a serious toll on his physical and mental health.
"I just don't want to get to the point where things are going downhill," he told the Daily Liberal.
"I'm just going to step away for awhile, but I will be back in the racing game.
"At this stage I just want to take a step back and enjoy my life for a few months and see what happens."
Nestor has been involved in racing since he was 13, and after a successful career as jockey he immediately transitioned into life as a trainer.
More success soon followed, as his Dubbo stables expanded and the increase in quality of horses has meant plenty of travel around the state has been commonplace for him, his wife Anna, and the rest of the team.
"The only time I've had a break was when I was suspended for a week or two or injured, and you can't enjoy it," Nestor said of being a jockey, before speaking about work as a trainer.
"There's a lot of hard work in it. There's a lot people don't realise you need to do. You don't just turn up to the stables each day.
"I don't want to get to a point where it's really physically and mentally draining me. I know deep inside myself that I do need this break and need to step away and probably reassess how I'd run it again.
"I'm very grateful to the support I've had. I couldn't have done it without the owners and they've been terrific to deal with."
There's been plenty of major victories for the Kody Nestor Racing team since Kenny Succeed scored their first win in February, 2018.
Nestor has contested the past two Country Championships Finals after winning back-to-back Western Districts Qualifiers, while there's been Highway and Country Classic wins in the city, and plenty of country feature events.
In a media release from Kody and Anna on Wednesday night, it was stated "personal/health" reasons as to why the "stable will cease trading and no longer provide racing horse training services".
Nestor wanted to assure people he was in good health and was eager to thank his owners and staff for their understanding.
It is a little sad it will be winding up but I'm excited about the next opportunities that arise.Kody Nestor
"I've had a great team behind me, staff-wise, and it is a little sad it will be winding up but I'm excited about the next opportunities that arise," he said.
"It's a shame for the staff but ... with a lot of horses staying in the area it gives other trainers like Clint (Lundholm) and (Brett) 'Snow' Robb the chance to expand, and a few others too.
"Hopefully the staff can get a job with them or go wherever they want to.
"They've been terrific and really good to me. I couldn't have done it without them so it is sad, but like I said, I'm excited for what comes next."
As for his large team of horses, many are likely to remain in the western area while stable stars like Cardiff, Jailbreak, and What The Fuss could potentially end up in Sydney or Brisbane.
Nestor has made his recommendation to owners and with many horses owned by syndicates a vote will decide their future.
"A few are eligible for the Country Championships so I don't want them leaving this area and I'm sure the owners are in the same boat," he said.
"I've got a few that will go to Sydney because they're a bit hard to place in the bush and they're up to the level and there's probably three or four I'll recommend go to Brisbane.
"At the end of the day, the horses comes first in my eyes. That's the way we set it up."
For now, it's business as normal.
Nestor will be in action at Randwick on Saturday with Golden Gorge while the team will also have a number of chances in at Narromine's Dandy Cup meeting.
"The show rolls on for a little while yet and we've still got a job to do," he said.
"It will slowly wind down but everything will be as good as gold."
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