Melbourne Cup-winner Michelle Payne leads a celebrity jockey battle of the sexes at Australian Showjumping Championships
Australia’s luminary male and female jockeys will go jump for jump in a nail-biting 90cm Celebrity Speed Class at 11:00am on Sunday 17 September at this year’s Australian Showjumping Championships (ASJC).
Featuring some of the greatest names in international horseracing, the jockey challenge pits all-star jockeys Michelle Payne, Melissa Julius and Nikita Beriman against rival champs, Jake Bayliss, Ben Allen and Mickey Dee.
Fittingly, the celebrated Michelle Payne was the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup in 2015, throwing down the gauntlet post-race by lambasting the sport as ‘chauvinistic’ and telling her doubters to ‘get stuffed’. Inspiring decades of female jockeys to come, her presence will no doubt spark a feisty battle of the sexes in one of the day’s most entertaining and events – which proved to be a highlight of last years’ ASJC.
Stealing the show in 2016 with an ill-timed jump that resulted in a comic fall, Mick Price will again be warming up the crowd with entertaining commentary along with fellow Clerk of the Course Peter Moody.
The jockey challenge pairs the riders with six magnificent Off the Track Thoroughbreds. ASJC proudly supports the welfare of these Thoroughbreds who have been reeducated to successfully compete at the most elite level of showjumping in the country.
Paired for the first time just before entering the ring, the riders and steeds have only minutes to get acquainted before being placed out of their comfort zone for a hilarious and breathtaking novelty speed class not to be missed.
Event Director, Mark Hopkinson, states ‘we are thrilled that the Celebrity Speed Class is part of the 2017 Australian Showjumping Championships. Thoroughbreds make excellent jumping horses. The sport currently has many ex-race horses successfully competing across the country.’