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Donna Logan ... Loving Life

donna logan

Colleen Thorpe talks to Whangarei Racing Club’s Personality of the Year Donna Logan ahead of the club’s Fashion Fiesta this month. Donna is the queen of hats, horses and humility. In one word she’s awesome.

You were born and bred in Whangarei ... tell us a little bit about growing up here in Northland. I was actually born in Kawakawa but have spent most of my life in the Northland region; in and around Whangarei but more recently in Ruakaka. Growing up in this region was and still is an adventure, you just can’t beat what this area offers, the people, the weather (most of the time), the surroundings. It not only benefits my profession but I go to beach 6 out of 7 days a week with the horses, not many people can say that about their jobs.

Where did you get your love of horses? My mother Betsy had a horse hire business, I learnt to ride when I was 3 years old, progressed to working in a stable, then being track work rider and eventually I became a jockey. Race rides were few and far between so I started training my own horses so I could at least get to ride them on race day. Pre-training for a few locals then became the natural progression into full time training.

What was your first pony called? Tuppence, she was so good she had a foal on Christmas day, best Christmas present ever. Sweetie was another whom I kept until the age of 32.

What was your first job? I started at Every Day Food Centre and Wylie’s Garage at Maunu Road. I also worked for my Dad in his pie cart.

Who did you train under before establishing Logan Racing Stables? I was provided the opportunity to work for Sid Edwards who trained Jan’s Beau. I learnt the basics from Sid and Dick Wellington, along with honing my skills over the years of working in a stable and riding horses. I was an apprentice jockey to Sid then transferred to Kelvin ‘Kumara’ Snell. At the completion of my apprenticeship, I applied for my trainer’s license and went onto train my first winner, Silver Kris for local identity Les Donaldson.

How many horses do you own and how many do you train at the moment? I usually only take shares in horses and enjoy the ride along with other owners especially the new owners. We have about 40 - 50 horses at various stages of their training preparation.

What has been your biggest achievement? Training any winner for my clients, winning the big Group and Listed races are also very memorable. Winning last year’s NZ Derby would have to be right up there too.

What can you not live with out? My mobile and my mascara.

What advice would you give the little girl who wants a pony for Christmas? First of all they should know how much work, responsibility and commitment is involved in owning a horse. They must at least have the facilities to keep one. But seriously, go to any riding school and make sure this is what you really want and if this is what you really want, start being nice to grand dad, he will be an easier target than mum or dad.

Apart from horses what other passions have you? Fishing anywhere, anytime can’t get enough of it, spending time with my children, they grow up far too fast, shopping, travelling, and dining out with friends. I am also passionate about the Whangarei Racing Club, I want to see it here for hundreds of years to come.

This month Whangarei Racing Club is hosting the LJ Hooker Fashion Fiesta. Give us three of your best fashion tips!
1. Get to bed early the night before
2. Confidence and self assurance certainly gets you noticed
3. Race wear should be styly. Comfortable yet practical

What is your favourite piece of clothing?
My Zambezi jacket.
What did your school report say?
Has loads of ability but no interest in school work, always talking about horses and racing.

Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise our readers.
1. I suffer from depression and having acknowledged it I am able to share and help other people
2. I worked under the Whangarei port lagging pipes
3. I am an avid hat pin collector

   Have you visited Weddings in Northland?