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Track rider training standards in horse racing industry makes ABC News

27 Jul 2015

Melbourne Polytechnic’s Northern Lodge training centre is one of our secret gems. Located on 320 hectares of rolling hills in beautiful Eden Park, 40 km north of Melbourne, it's where we train the next generation of stablehands and track riders for the thriving thoroughbred racing industry.

Lush pastures, first rate stables, a covering barn, ménage, teasing facilities, a 1400 metre training track & ‘jump out barriers’, a sand roll and state-of-the-art scanning equipment make Northern Lodge one of the finest educational thoroughbred breeding properties in Australia.


Recently, ABC News sports journalist Damian McIver and cameraman Peter Drought visited Northern Lodge to chat to Debbie Jones, teacher in the Certificate III in Racing (Track Riding), Cameron Quilty, registered jockey and teacher of Equine Studies, and some of our students about the rise in the number of women joining the industry as track riders and jockeys.

However, while speaking to the team about careers in the industry, Damian McIver became interested in the issue of safety standards in the industry, and how formal training can help prevent serious and fatal accidents that may occur due to lack of skills.

The story ran on ABC’s 7pm news on Wednesday 22 July, and can also be found on the ABC website.

For more information about our Certificate III in Racing (Track Riding), please visit our website or phone 03 9269 1042.



According to a story by Racing Victoria in 2014, key statistics about women’s participation in the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry included:

  • In 2004 there were 23 female riders in Victoria (including apprentices, picnic, jumps and senior riders). This represented 10% of the jockey population.
  • In 2014 there are 50 female riders in Victoria. This represents 22% of the jockey population.
  • Five female jockeys have won Group 1 races in Australia (Michelle Payne, Nikita Beriman, Kathy O’Hara, Clare Lindop & Lauren Stojakovic).
  • The 2014 Racing Victoria Apprentice Jockey Training Program saw a record female intake (six of nine inductees). It was up from 5 females / 10 inductees in 2013, 5/11 in 2012 and 2/12 in 2011.
  • In 2004, 19% of licensed trainers were female.
  • In 2014, 24% of licensed trainers are female.
  • Of the 3,249 registered Victorian stable employees in 2014, 49% are female.
  • 41% of Victorian race clubs (representing metropolitan, country and picnic racing clubs) are managed by women.

More stories about women’s participation in the Australian thoroughbred racing industry:

Racing industry wants women to consider it as a career’, Sunshine Coast Daily, 14 March 2015.

The $500,000 horse racing prize that is only available to women’,, 12 January 2015

The world's No. 1 female harness racing driver is an Australian you've probably never heard of’, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 April 2015


Media enquiries should be directed to Melbourne Polytechnic Communications Officer, Anita Coia, on 03 9269 1251 or

Melbourne Polytechnic (formerly NMIT) operates across six campuses and five specialist training centres throughout Melbourne. The institute delivers high quality vocational education in industry-standard facilities.