Awesome Aussie jockey Michelle Payne is officially the very first female rider to even win the prestigious Melbourne Cup. With this being the 155th year of the Melbourne Cup’s existence, we’d say Payne’s win is a VERY big deal.
The 30-year-old jockey rode the Prince of Penzance in a race that was stacked against her with 100 to 1 odds. She also just so happened to be riding in the Suffragette colors of purple, white, and green.
In her post-race interview Payne remarked upon how the world of competitive horse racing is a minefield for women – in fact, she is one of only four women to ever compete in the prestigious race, according to the Guardian.
“It’s such a chauvinistic sport, a lot of the owners wanted to kick me off,” she told reporters after the race. “Everyone else can get stuffed [who] think women aren’t good enough.”
As the Guardian reports, Payne and her nine siblings – including her brother Stevie, who has Down syndrome and helps groom and train horses – were raised primarily by their father after their mom was tragically killed in a car crash. Eight of the siblings have worked as jockeys.
Refreshingly, most commentary isn’t branding Payne’s win as a “fairytale” or something to do with “luck” (both things that are often said about women who accomplish challenging tasks). Instead, she’s being rightfully heralded as someone with true grit and determination.
We don’t know what’s more awesome – the fact that Payne won, or the fact that she’s so outspoken about the way the horse racing world is. Either way, we can’t wait to see what she does next.
[Image via Twitter]