From Riding to Driving - Madden Makes Her Trial Debut

11 February 2024 | Ashleigh Paikos
Kylah Madden with Zarak and Black Pontiac

Kylah Madden with Zarak and Black Pontiac Photo by Kelly Thomas

From Riding To Driving, Madden Makes Her Trial Debut.

Kylah Madden made her trial debut at Byford last Sunday, February 4, with her first drive a success on the well performed Arma Einstein.

With her nerves setting in on the day, she confirmed that Arma Einstein, a winner of 18 from 99 starts and earnings of over $324,000 did a very good job of taking care of her the whole way around the track.

“The nerves got a little bit of the better of me, but that’s alright, there’s always room for improvement, it’s a learning curve.”

Madden returned to Byford on Sunday, February 11 with three drives this time around, walking away with two satisfactory drives to her name, with three trial drives completed in her quest to race driving.

What a difference a week can make, with Madden confirming she felt a lot more confident this week, as well as calmer in general.

Learning to ride at the age of four, Madden received her first pony at 10-years-old, and now 12 years later she’s becoming a driver after making the leap.

Working for Bayley Thomas with her rehoming program and helping break in and educate standardbreds after their racing careers, Madden soon discovered a love for the breed and it continued to grow, with Kylah eventually having two of her own standardbreds that she showed quite successfully in the show ring.

Black Pontiac and Zarak sadly passed last year due to rye grass toxicity, a devastating time for Kylah who had successfully shown Black Pontiac for many years, and Zarak who had a short yet successful show career in his short time with her.

“I think they’re a great breed, they’re very versatile, they deal with everything and anything you throw at them, they’re just a lovely breed.”

Originally learning the basics of the harness industry from Ryan Warwick during her time for Team Bond, it was at the stables of Skye and Greg Bond that Kylah got her first taste of driving, but it was cut short when an accident in late 2020 saw her take an extended break away from the horses while she recovered.

Driving wasn’t always on her mind, with Madden making mention that she originally had planned on getting an apprenticeship as a heavy diesel mechanic, but the move to Colin Brown’s stable has confirmed that this is the direction she’s wanting to go.

Initially working for the astute Dylan Egerton-Green where she accredits much of her learning, Kylah has spent the last two years under the guidance of Colin Brown, who has taken her to the next level, granting her the opportunity to drive in trials, and with any luck, eventually races.

“I watched Colin do it for nearly two years, and it’s always interested me, but I’ve always been a bit more of a nervous person, but Colin has directed me on the right path and pushed me for it, and I think it’s the right decision,

“I’m excited for the future.”


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