What an AMAZING story today from the Melbourne Cup today, with so many lessons!
- One of 10 kids, who lost her mum when she was young and they were all raised by her dad who instilled a “very good work ethic and a can do attitude” in them all. She mostly grew up with her brother Stevie, who has Down Syndrome and is now the strapper of the winning horse Prince of Penzance!
- When she was 11 years old she had a dream that one day she would win the Melbourne Cup and told all her friends – who always gave her a ‘bit of grief’
- She has had many falls including having two falls recently fracturing 9 vertebra and was very close retied, but her dad convinced her not to
- Has has always battled being a female jockey in what she said is a very “chauvinistic sport”
- A year ago had a holiday and after she got back no one would give her a ride on their horses at races, trials or even at training… But she kept showing up, day after day, week after week and “pestering” the trainers to let her ride. And finally they let her have a race with Prince of Penzance and never looked back..
- She saw something in the horse and told many people the horse could win the Melbourne Cup, which a lot of people laughed at.
- Fought bloody hard to get the horse just INTO the race and then when the Prince got a start, Michelle told plenty of people they’d win – at the odds of 100-1 and again got laughed at.
- She was only the forth female jockey to ride in the cup. IN 155 YEARS!!! And said that a lot of the other owners wanted her “kicked off”, but her owners stuck by her through it all
- And today – SHE WON! – the first female ever…. In 155 years.
Watching her celebrate with her brother Stevie after the race (even though I am far from a horse racing follower) was an amazing sight – not just for racing or sport, but knowing the full story, for life. Her quote soon after winning, which she said in a calm and succinct way -
“For those who say women aren’t strong enough – get stuffed!” - priceless and impeccable timing.
- There were so many obstacles standing in Michelle Payne’s way – family, crashes, professional, her gender and an ‘active’ lack of support – but she kept showing up, kept being the squeaky door and kept believing despite so much opposition.
- And then she won!