Jockeys Night

Jockeys' Night Out

Debbie_on_Paint_The_WildwoodMain Photo : Debbie Lloyd riding the outsider Paint The Wildwood to victory at Cheltenham in the late 80s.

Many of
Australia’s top female jockeys, past and present got together in Melbourne last night to celebrate their achievements, to reminisce and to catch up with the latest issues in the world of racing.

The function was held at Fedish at Federation Square overlooking the picturesque Yarra river. The night was unusually warm for late April and the jockeys made the most of the venue’s large balcony overlooking the water. Many of the fifty or so jockeys in attendance were in high spirits and animated conversation and loud laughter could be heard right across the river.

Present were Peter Moody's top female rider Linda Meech, the current queen of Adelaide racing Clare Lindop as well as another Adelaide girl, Debbie Hall (Lloyd) who was one of the first flag bearers for female jockeys and who rode with success in Australia and Japan.

Stalwart of the female jockey brigade Sally Wynne was in a jovial mood but had to keep a lid on her partying as she had three rides lined up at Sale the next day. Wynne’s mother Dianne, a successful trainer, was also in attendance and when Sally was asked what her mother’s greatest achievement in horse racing was, she replied “Me”.

Controversial news maker, Group One winning rider Nikita McLean (Beriman) made her presence felt as always and racing’s most famous jockey clan the Payne’s were well represented by Therese and Maree, both of whom got behind the microphone and entertained the gathering.

There was no taste tempting dinner menu on offer for the girls – rather finger food was the order of the night, which prompted one jockey to observe - “Old habits die hard”. The evening was such a success that there are already plans to turn it into an annual event. 

                                          By Mark Hall         April 2013