Spotlight on our jockeys
SPOTLIGHT ON - JACOB LOWRY
With racing in his blood, becoming a jockey was the obvious choice for Jacob Lowry...
How did you get into racing? I was born and bred into racing and spent my childhood going to race meetings and working for my Grandfather (Brian Anderton) in the school holidays.
What do you love most about your job? I’m lucky enough to have a career that I can call a passion, rather than a job. Riding winners for good people on good horses is what drives me.
Most memorable moment in racing thus far? Winning 10 races on Tommy Tucker, including 5 black type wins.
Flat or jumps? Flat.
Hobbies outside of racing? Occasionally I'll get out on the golf course. I’m not very good at it but enjoy the social side!
Favourite summer raceday? I always look forward to Boxing Day at Wingatui. I'm usually supported with some nice rides and have had a little bit of luck there in the past. There is always a great crowd on course, providing a good atmosphere.
Finish the sentence: Summer racing is... Good weather, good racing, good horses and good people.
SPOTLIGHT ON - DANIELLE JOHNSON
Currently dominating the New Zealand jockey ranks, more than 50 wins clear of her nearest rival, Danielle Johnson has her eyes on the prize!
How did you get into racing? My father (Peter) was a jockey and mum always pre-trained horses - it was in my blood!
Favourite horse? I find it hard to have a favourite and try to treat all horses I ride equally. I did have a real soft spot for a horse called Serious Sapphire, who is now retired.
Most memorable moment on a racetrack thus far? Winning the Karaka Million on Xiong Feng. The race and night has so much hype about it!
Past or present – one you wish you could throw a leg over? Sunline. I liked the way she could dominate a field from the front.
When you're not busy riding winners, how do you like to spend your time? Shopping, eating good food and spending time with great people.
Which summer raceday are you most looking forward to? New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million at Ellerslie, 23 January. I think it's the highlight of everyone's racing calendar.
Finish this sentence: Summer racing is... The best time of the year for anyone and everyone to enjoy our sport.
SPOTLIGHT ON - LISA ALLPRESS
Few jockeys have more stamps on their passport than Lisa Allpress, who has ridden in some pretty neat countries including Singapore and Saudi Arabia. What's more - Lisa made history in the latter by becoming the first female jockey to win a race in Saudi Arabia earlier this year!
How did you get into racing? I was really involved in showing and show jumping and met my great friend Nicole McDonald whose father was Warren Dymond. He was a good trainer in Stratford and I spent many hours at the stables helping her family. Nicole and I used to muck out, fill water buckets and hays. Sweep the concrete and then we were allowed to go ride our ponies!
Favourite horse? I have a huge respect for all the horses I ride, they are all special so it’s hard to pick a favourite. I still have Dubhdara in the paddock and hunt him when I can in the winter.
Most memorable moment on a racetrack thus far? Definitely winning in Saudi Arabia. World class jockeys. It was like a dream coming true.
You've ridden in a lot of different countries! Which has been your favourite? Singapore is still my favourite country to ride in. We all loved it there.
When you're not busy riding winners, how do you like to spend your time? I am a mum and wife so my time away from racing is always busy with the boys and Karl. We also have a farm so there is always cattle to move or thistles to grub to keep me occupied!
Which summer raceday are you most looking forward to? New Year's Day at Ellerslie
Finish this sentence: Summer racing is... the best way to enjoy friends, family and the best horse racing!
SPOTLIGHT ON - SAM WEATHERLEY
Career wins (NZ): 204
How did you get into racing? My father was a jockey and since then has turned his hand to training, so I’ve been brought up with it my whole life.
Favourite horse? Sultan Of Swing! He’s been a very good horse to me - right from the start of my apprenticeship to now - so that’s about 5 years we have been together and his career isn’t over yet!! He’s also trained by a champion and owned by champion people!
Most memorable moment on a racetrack thus far? I’d have to say winning my first Group 1 at Trentham in The Telegraph, but not far behind that was riding three winners on a big day in Sydney at Rosehill, that was pretty special.
Past or present – one you wish you could throw a leg over? I would’ve loved to have thrown a leg over Black Caviar, just to feel the speed and power that she had.
Hobbies outside of racing (can't say sleeping!): I love playing golf and try and play a couple of times a week, if I can fit it in.
Which summer raceday are you most looking forward to? Boxing Day races at Ellerslie is great, but our Matamata Christmas at the Races meeting (December 23) is pretty cool as well (and believe us when we say, the locals LOVE when Sam kicks home a winner on his home track!).
Finish this sentence: Summer racing is... very enjoyable for all involved.
SPOTLIGHT ON | Samantha Wynne
Some may say it's the luck of the Irish, we say it's Sam's passion, perseverance and love for horses that makes her the top jock that she is.
How did you get into racing? I've always loved horses and wanted to leave school, so went to apprentice school on the Curragh. I left home when I was 15 to complete the year-long course.
Favourite horse? I have too many favourites! Pinsgold has always been special to me, he was hard work but gave me my first winning ride in New Zealand.
Explain the feeling of riding a winner... The feeling of winning any race is amazing. Especially because at the start of my career, I was told to give up trying to become a jockey. Nothing beats that winning feeling.
Most memorable moment on a racetrack thus far? My first day as a senior jockey when I won the Winter Cup on Miss Three Stars. She normally has to come down the outside, but this day I cut the corner and she won by a nose. There was also an Irish camera crew following me that day, so it was shown back home which was special.
When you're not busy riding winners, how do you like to spend your time? Spending time with my dog Louis - he keeps me active!
Which summer raceday are you most looking forward to? I love Boxing Day races at Wingatui. The racing is top quality and everyone's in good spirits. It looks good fun being on the other side of the running rail!
Finish this sentence: Summer racing is... A great buzz. It's exciting racing and great crowds having a good time. That's what it's all about.
SPOTLIGHT ON | Temyia Taiaroa
Based: Central District
What inspired you to become a jockey? I was about 3-years-old when my dad and Koko (grandfather) took me to the Levin track. I used to sit on the rail and watch the horses do their work. It’s the love and passion for horses that inspire me to ride. I wasn’t the smartest (or the most well behaved!) in school. When I left school, I got a job doing groundwork at the track. After a while I started to ride with Koko and dad and from there I haven’t looked back.
Favourite horse? Credit Manager - I rode him his first trial and I’ve won three races on him since. He’s a cheeky horse, he always keeps me on my toes, but he knows when it’s race day.
Explain the feeling of riding a winner: Joy, excitement, overwhelm – especially when there is special meaning behind a win. It’s the best feeling seeing happy owners and trainers as you return to scale.
Which race would you love to tick off someday? I’d love to win any listed or group level race in New Zealand.
When you’re not with the horses, how do you like to spend your time? Spending time with my family, especially my niece who has just turned four-months-old. She can always put a smile on my face. I also love my sleep!
What summer raceday are you most looking forward to? Wellington Racing Club’s Group 1 Glory Day, 16 January, featuring two group 1 races as well as three other black type races. I won aboard Credit Manager at this meeting last year. It was my Dad’s birthday so made for a great birthday surprise! It’s one of my favourite meetings of the season.