First female chair saddles up

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Keen horsewoman Jan Hunt has taken up the reins as Skyline Enterprises’ first female chair. The locally-raised 61-year-old, who rode high in her hotel career, discusses her track gallops with Philip Chandler.

Appointed this month as chair of iconic Queenstown-based tourism giant Skyline Enterprises, Jan Hunt stands out for three reasons.

Having grown up at Mt Nicholas Station, across Lake Wakatipu, she’s one of that rare breed – a Queenstown local.

She’s the first female to chair Skyline’s board, after about 18 months as deputy chair, and she has a background in hospitality management that’s almost unparalleled.

Hunt’s also up with market trends as a board member of Tourism New Zealand for the past two years.

The other constant in her life, since her station days, has been an affinity for horses.

She’s modest about her riding abilities, but concedes she won the Glenorchy Races gallop three times.

Soon after, she says organisers kicked women out of that race as they were winning it too often.

Educated through correspon-dence school till Form 1, she then went to Dunedin’s St Hilda’s Collegiate School till the sixth form, when she left – “my lead teachers thought that was probably a good idea”.

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