Year after year, the number of women in Australia who join horse racing steadily increases. In fact, 27% of all currently registered jockeys in the country are women. Each furlong gained in the sport is hard-earned as, one by one, female horse riders start making their mark. Let’s take a look at 5 of the best Australian female jockeys today.
The current darling of the media and the horse racing scene, Payne made history when she became the first female ever to win the Melbourne Cup. In November 2015, at 30 years old, she rode Prince of Penzance to victory. In so doing, she drove another nail into the coffin of chauvinism in the sport.
Payne’s journey has not been easy. Over several years, she has suffered horrific injuries, including a fractured skull and a bleeding brain, and several fractured vertebrae. Just this May, Payne had once again fallen from her horse and this time tore her pancreas. As of current writing, the jockey has not yet made a decision as to whether she will continue pursuing her career or retire.
Sydney-based O’Hara got her first big win in 2007 when she rode Aunty Betty in the Birthday Card Stakes. She went on to win her first Group 1 in the 2012 Coolmore Classic with Ofcourseican, and swept up a second Group 1 win early this year. She rode Single Gaze for trainer Nick Olive at the Golden Slipper Festival.
In April, O’Hara underwent surgery for a punctured lung, broken collarbone, and a concussion. She had fallen off of Single Gaze at the Australian Oaks in Randwick. The jockey, however, has fully recovered, saying she never doubted for a second that she would ride again.
It seems Katelyn Mallyon has been living up to her prestigious pedigree. If her name sounds familiar, it’s because she is the granddaughter of Mick Mallyon, who won the Caulfield Cup several times. Discussing her grandfather, however, would be a disservice to Katelyn, as she has made a name for herself without the help of anyone.
From the age of 5, Mallyon had decided that she was going to become a jockey, despite gentle urges from her parents steering her away from the dangerous sport. Undeterred, she went on to win the Victorian Apprentices title twice, becoming the first female to ever do so. This despite the massive injuries she suffered between the two wins.
Mallyon is determined to become not just one of the best Australian female jockeys ever, but the best jockey ever, period.
Lindop was the first female to ever compete at the Melbourne Cup, a race which she has since competed in two more times. This is probably what she is best known for, but Lindop did not become a household name in Australia for that one achievement.
In her two-decade career, she has ridden over 1,200 winners. Her biggest wins include the Adelaide Cup, the Gold Coast Magic Millions, the SA Derby, and the Goodwood Sprint. She considers her win atop Rebel Raider at the VRC Derby in 2008 as the highlight of her career.
Lindop isn’t just one of the best Australian female jockeys around – she’s one of the best jockeys in Australia, period, and arguably the most accomplished female jockey today.
Warwick’s career is young, but her rise to stardom has been meteoric. In 2014, Lucy rode her first winner at Bunbury, and from there went on to finish second in the Western Australia jockeys premiership. She has ridden and won multiple times for her father, trainer Justin Warwick.
Because of her popularity, Warwick has also been tagged to promote racing in Perth.
Track Mode is a horse racing and fashion blog, founded and curated by Nina O’Brien. Besides race day dresses and hats, we also like talking about important people in the sport of kings. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for horse racing and fashion news and inspiration.