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Mark Walker

Mark Walker

Te Akau NZ Trainer – Te Akau Australia Trainer – Director


Mark Walker – Te Akau New Zealand Trainer with training partner Sam Bergerson – is a world-class horse trainer, with six Champion Trainer titles in New Zealand, and four in Singapore.

Walker joined Te Akau Racing straight from school and rose to the heights of top-class thoroughbred trainer, capable of making his mark in any racing jurisdiction worldwide.

Prior to leaving his home at Matamata, New Zealand, to set up stables for Te Akau at Kranji racecourse, Walker set a new benchmark for wins in a season when he trained 108 in 2009/10 season, eclipsing the previous seventeen-year-old record.

Winning the training premiership six times in New Zealand, Walker was the youngest to achieve this with his first success in 2003/04 when only 31. This was subsequently eclipsed by Jamie Richards when winning aged 30 in 2019/20, while also establishing a new record (160) in 2020.21.

In 2022 Mark returned to New Zealand to assume the role of Head Trainer in Matamata, following Jamie Richards’ invitation to train in Hong Kong.

In the 2022/23 season Mark and the team smashed New Zealand racing records left, right and centre:

Mark became the first every trainer to train a double century of winners, with 203 to his credit at season end.  This was 103 ahead of the closest trainer.  He also captured the fastest 100 winners (previously also held by Te Akau), and recorded his 100th stakes’ winner.

In the blockbuster season, Walker claimed 33 Group/Listed victories in New Zealand and a Group 1 with Imperatriz in Melbourne, amassing well over $9 million in stakes for Te Akau owners.

In 2023, Mark took our his training license in Victoria, as Te Akau prepares to establish a stable at Cranbourne.




Adept at handling both bloodstock and livestock, Mark grew up on a dairy farm in Rahotu, about 30 minutes from Opunake.

Like Kiwi trainer Chris Waller, who grew up in Foxton before becoming a star in Australia, Walker also arose from somewhat obscure beginnings and it was a Shetland pony named Mac that provided his introduction to horses.

He started at Opunake Pony Club and ended up doing a lot of show-jumping and eventing between the ages of seven and 17.

Mark has worked for David Ellis CNZM since leaving high school and is now his business partner.

Armed with his CV, Walker walked up the driveway at Te Akau Stud and asked David for a job. Although without a vacancy, David took the time to read through the CV and promptly hired him – the rest, as they say, is history.

Ellis freely admits that apart from marrying Karyn, employing Mark Walker is the best decision he has ever made.

An outstanding horseman, Walker led the way among New Zealand horse trainers, dominating New Zealand racing in the decade to 2010, when he transferred to set up Te Akau Racing Stables in Singapore.

Results speak volumes for both his talent and ability to lead a team. He has won six New Zealand Trainers’ Premierships and in the 2009/10 season won the Premiership with 108 wins (28 more than the closest rival). In doing so, he broke a 17 year old record set by Dave and Paul O’Sullivan (104) for the highest number of wins in a season.  While that record was overtaken – he has now claimed it back with 203 wins in 2022/23 – his Premiership wins came in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, and in 2022/23.

In Singapore, Walker was Champion Trainer in 2015, 2017 (record 87 wins), 2019, and 2021, runner-up three times, third, and fourth.

Mark and his partner Mirka reside in Matamata – he has three children and a clever beagle!

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