Life On The Job


Famous or Historic People

 Michelle Payne  (29 September 1985 - ) JOCKEY and Trainer

Michelle winning Melbourne Cup
Michelle after winning the Melbourne Cup in 2015 - the first female jockey to win this race.

 

Introduction

Michelle Payne is an Australian jockey and trainer, and in 2015 became the first female jockey to ever win the Melbourne Cup.

Michelle was born on the 29th of September, 1985, and was the youngest daughter of Paddy and Mary Payne. She grew up on the family farm at Miners Rest, Victoria near Ballarat.

Michelle Payne with family
The Payne family and two friends. Michelle is held by her father, Paddy.
(Source: News API)

When Michelle was six months old, her mother died in a car accident, leaving her father to raise ten children as a single parent. Older sisters Therese and Bernadette played a big role in raising the Payne children.

Michelle with sister Theresa
Michelle as an infant, sitting on sister Theresa’s lap.
(Source: Herald Sun - no longer available on Internet. Was at:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/michelle-payne-book-extract-life-as-i-know-it/news-story/eabdebf64e83275d7d8866a47fe31eca )

From a young age Michelle dreamt of being a winning jockey, even telling friends that she would one day win the Melbourne Cup (S ). She was desperate to ride horses, waking up furious at her father if he had gone to the stables without her.

Michelle dressed as a Jockey, aged 4.

From Michelle's book "Life as I know it".

Dressed as a jockey
(Source: Herald Sun)
Michelle and Stevie

With Stevie
(Source: ABC)
Did You Know?

The first female to ride a Melbourne Cup runner was Maree Lyndon who rode Argonaut Style in 1987.

Claire Lindop became the first Australian women to ride a Melbourne Cup runner when she took the ride on Debben who finished unplaced in 2003.

Michelle Payne made history in 2015 when she was the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup on the back of Prince of Penzance.

Frank Reys was the first Aboriginal to ride a Melbourne Cup winner. Reys rode Gala Supreme to victory in the 1973 Melbourne Cup.
(Source: Just Horse Racing)


2020 - Jamie Kah rode Prince of Arran who came third.

Education

She attended Our Lady Help of Christians primary school, Ballarat. Michelle Payne attended Loreto College Ballarat from 1998 – 2000, making the tough decision at the end of Year 9 to leave her school and friends in order to pursue her dream of becoming a professional jockey, following in the footsteps of seven of her ten siblings.

Employment, Training & Experiences

Following in the footsteps of seven of her brothers and sisters, Michelle’s first competitive race was in Ballarat at just 15, riding Reigning- a horse trained by her father.

In 2004, at just 18, Michelle came 11th in the Torbek Handicap in Sandown. Just 100 metres from the winning post the horse she was riding collapsed suddenly, causing her to fall. She sustained a fractured skull and bruising to her brain.

Following this fall, her father Paddy wanted to announce her retirement-as did her siblings. For the first time, Payne shared in their doubts about her future.

“For a while, I wondered if I would ever ride again after the fall. It was awful. I couldn’t concentrate. I had no short-term memory. I just couldn’t think. It wasp probably like that for two months. After three months, I noticed a difference. I didn’t want to give up.”

“I would have been more than happy to see her give it up. She’d had a good go, but it’s something that she’s determined to succeed at.”
Paddy Payne, 2005.

In chasing her dream Michelle has endured many significant difficulties along the way, including a number of serious falls, but she has always shown great determination to be regarded as one of the best jockeys in Australia.

Challenges

Michelle’s career hasn’t been without challenges. In March 2004 at the age of just 18, Michelle was pulling up her mount Vladivostok, having just finished 11th in the Torbek Handicap at Sandown. 100 metres past the winning post the horse fell suddenly, sending Michelle head first into the turf. The incident left Michelle with a fractured skull and bruising to her brain.

Michelle suffered two further serious falls in 2012 and in May 2016, just months after winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup, Michelle suffered yet another life threatening fall at Mildura. This time Michelle required pancreatic surgery and a long recovery, before yet another inspiring comeback to racing.

Her Wins

Michelle won her first Group One race, the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse in 2009. Following this win, trainer Bart Cummings offered her a place in the Caulfield Cup the next week. Payne took the offer, and was the third female jockey to ever ride in the Cup. The horse placed 16th in the field of 23.

In 2010, Michelle rode Yosei to victory in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield.

Michelle’s affinity for horses has seen her ride over 700 winners, including five Group One’s –

Toorak Handicap (2009) – Allez Wonder
Produce Stakes (2010) – Yosei
The Thousand Guineas (2010) – Yosei
Tattersall’s Tiara (2011) – Yosei
Melbourne Cup (2015) – Prince of Penzance
In 2016, Michelle and her brother Stephen were given the honour of being named Queen and King of Moomba.

In 2015, aged 30, she rode straight into the history books on board Prince of Penzance, becoming the first female jockey ever to win the Melbourne Cup in its 155 year history. Importantly for Michelle, she was able to share this amazing achievement with her brother and strapper, Stevie, right by her side.

When Michelle declared that day that anyone who said women couldn’t compete with men in the racing industry could ‘get stuffed’, the nation stood up and cheered.

She was also the fourth woman to ever ride in the race.

Winning
(Source: ABC News)

Michelle beat many odds to win the race. The horse she rode, Prince of Penzance, was purchased for only $50 000 (a price described by sportswriters as “pocket change), with odds of more than $100-1.

Alongside Michelle on the day was her brother Stevie, who has Down's Syndrome. Stevie is Prince of Penzance’s strapper, and worked for trainer Darren Weir for nearly a decade. Stevie played a big role in Michelle’s preparation for the history-making Melbourne Cup.

In a sport renowned for its male dominance, Payne overcame numerous barriers to become a leading jockey. After winning the Cup, she stated she hoped her win would help other female jockeys.

Since the Melbourne Cup.

In 2016, she was awarded the Don Award at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame awards, an award which recognises “a sportsperson who, through their achievements and example over the last 12 months, is considered to have most inspired the nation.”

In May of 2017, Payne received international recognition when she was award the Longines Ladies Award in Washington, U.S. The award pays tribute to “distinguished women whose careers have shown a positive influence and exceptional commitment to the equine cause.”

Michelle now owns Nottingham Farm which works exclusively with only 15 Group Class horses at any one time.

 

YouTube

YouTube: Loreto College Ballarat - Interview with Michelle Payne
https://youtu.be/dMt6xq8FMBg

 

YouTube: Michelle Payne's historic Melbourne Cup win | Anh's Brush With Fame
https://youtu.be/iMkZ36Uda2E


 

YouTube: Michelle Payne - A day in the life
https://youtu.be/CPtS641sx8s  

 

YouTube: Michelle Payne: The female jockey blazing a trail
https://youtu.be/egVoqNREaC0

 

 

YouTube: ABC 7.30 Report: Michelle Payne becomes the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup (HD)
https://youtu.be/N4ErH_EXhsI

 

Michelle and Stevie Payne in emotional interview about new film | Today Show Australia 28 October 2019
https://youtu.be/73eWt9OQMBw


Ride Like a Girl | Historic Melbourne Cup win immortalised in new movie | Sunday Night
https://youtu.be/w6P52O1fBjk

 

 

 

Links

Michelle Payne - Website

Website
Racing.com - Statistics

Statistics


Racenet
Twitter

Twitter
Facebook

FB

Instagram

Instagram
ABC News 4 November 2015

ABC News
ABC News 1 November 2019

ABC News
 


Activities

Michelle's Statistics!

PrimaryPrimary

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

 1. Look at Michelle's career statistics at Racing.com. What do you see? Talk over with a partner.

Statistics

2. Calculate the amount of money Michelle has earnt over her career.

a. What is the best winning condition of the track?

b. If Michelle has been riding since 2001, what is the average number of starts per year? (Total number of starts divided by number of years).

c. Where are Michelle's best results - the number of starts divided by the wins.

 

 

 

Ride like a Girl

MiddleMiddle & High School Secondary

Critical & Creative ThinkingAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical & Creative Thinking

1. In groups of 3 - 4 students, [or individually], read the following article from The Conversation 6 November 2015. Note down the history of women in racing and produce a timeline. Reading

The Conversation

a. What were the prejudices against women in racing?
b. Create a timeline of the history of women in racing.
c. List the names of the races women rode in. Reflect on these names.

Discussion

d. As a group, discuss these prejudices and derogatory terms.

 

Investigation

2. Read the following article from The Conversation 6 September 2019 Reading


The Conversation

a. What additional information did you get from this article?
b. What do you think about the new French example?

 

3. View the movie trailer - Ride like a Girl - based on Michelle Payne's Melbourne Cup Win.

RIDE LIKE A GIRL | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies
https://youtu.be/N7h-TnHidRc

 

Write down as many barriers that Michelle had to overcome as shown in this short trailer.

Discussion

Discuss these barriers and how they make you feel.

 

4. View the movie: "Ride Like a Girl" and use the Note Taker's Guide [Word docx].

Here is a synopsis of the film from The Conversation 10 September 2019 Reading

The Conversation

5. Discussion

What prejudices do you face today? What are you doing to overcome them within yourself and from others? Discuss.

Materials sourced from

Michelle Payne's website
Business Insider
ABC News
The Age
News
Sahof
Racing.com
Longines

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