Michelle Payne

On Tuesday 3 November 2015, Michelle made national history, becoming the first female jockey to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup.

Honour Roll

Throughout her career Michelle has shown great determination to be regarded as one of the best jockeys in Victoria. Hailing from Ballarat, Michelle is the youngest of 10 children—many of whom have also pursued careers in horse racing.

A breakthrough for female jockeys in a sport dominated by men, Michelle's extraordinary 2015 Melbourne Cup victory was no easy ride to success. Her commitment, courage and drive to succeed saw her through a horrific fall early on in her career in 2004. Despite a short break from racing to recover from her injuries, Michelle's strength and resolve propelled her to continue and eventually use her Melbourne cup win to share an important message that female jockeys should be given a fair go.

At the young age of 15, Michelle rode and won her first race on Reigning, a horse trained by her father. In 2009, Michelle became the third female jockey to ride in the Caulfield Cup. Michelle's first Melbourne Cup was in the same year when she raced Allez Wonder, which placed sixteenth out of 23 starters.

Michelle's incredible story and journey is an inspiration to so many Victorians. Throughout her career she has set an example for both her fellow jockeys and for future generations. Her remarkable achievement and continued determination will inspire Victorians of all ages to reach their potential across many fields of endeavour.