Ahead of the field

With a VU business degree under his belt and horse training in his blood, Ben Hayes is using his degree to oversee 110 staff and 216 horses across two locations.

“My dad never pushed me into the (horse racing) industry; however, as time went on, I found myself returning to the stables. I’m a third-generation trainer, with both my grandfather and father Australian Horse Racing Hall-of-Famers.

The whole idea of me studying business is so that I can bring something extra. A lot of people in the industry work with horses their whole lives and don’t have the opportunity to go to university.

I have dyslexia and I had to really work hard. But the family mantra propelled me forward – ‘the future belongs to those who plan for it’ – and part of my planning was to get my VU business degree.

My tutors were helpful and always got back to me when I asked questions. The personal support and consideration made a huge difference.

Where my degree has really helped is with the management of my staff. Our business is different to your average 9–5 job, so it’s about making sure that everybody is happy. Happy people work better and happy horses run better!

I’d love to one day win a Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate or Caulfield cup: the three big ones."

Course studied

Bachelor of Business