The number of female jockeys is on the rise throughout Australia despite the sport being traditionally dominated by males.
Port Macquarie jockey Jess Payne believes that people’s perceptions of women jockeys are finally changing to allow them to be more highly respected in the industry.
“We’re starting to get more of a go now and there’s more girls coming into the sport,” Payne said.
“The hardest part is trying to convince trainers that you’re as strong as the boys, which is difficult to do.
“But we’re starting to change minds and are convincing people that we’re doing better.”
Payne has big dreams of winning one of the biggest races in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, but first believes there needs to be more facilities available to help her do so.
“There needs to be more facilities, because we’re starting to be like sardines in a can,” Payne said.
“I hope to win one of the premierships around here and the race I’d like to win most is probably the Cox Plate,” she said.
New South Wales Mid-North Coast trainer Terry Evans believes that his area possesses some of the best female jockeys in the country.
“All the ladies on the Mid-North Coast are really good,” Evans said.
“They are coming along very well and are just as good as the boys.”
“I think the girls are better staff than the boys at times too. They care a lot for the horses.
“They’re getting the respect they deserve now and I don’t think there are too many places around that have this amount of female jockeys.”
Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham believes that female jockeys have an advantage over their male counterparts.
“If they can connect with the horse, I believe the horse will run better for the girls,” Graham said.
“I even think the ladies will eventually match the men in terms of numbers one day. They’re getting more accepted.”