Horse Racing has always been known as the Sport of Kings and for many centuries was considered a male dominant sport, one in which women simply did not participate in. However, in the modern day of racing we are now seeing an increase in female involvement in the industry and not just in administration roles, we are seeing more female trainers, owners and a rise in the number of females who are willing to put their life on the line to steer a 500kg + animal amongst the boys- Jockeys.
Hawkesbury Race Track, located around 50kms North West of Sydney, in the early hours of the morning long before any of us normal people are awake the day begins for this week’s Winning Wednesday interviewee. The day usually begins with mucking out stables (for some not the most pleasant thing to do first thing) and then involves jumping on the back of these powerful yet amazing animals to put them through their paces, following the instructions of not only the boss but her mother as well.
This young lady is a name that will soon become familiar to everyone, you may or may not know her but this is one star that is definitely beginning to grow and we were fortunate enough in being able to catch up with the girl on fire herself- Chelsea Ings.
Chelsea thank you for your time and WOW, what a ride you are on at the moment!!
Your mother (Wanda Ings) is a Trainer, were you always destined to be a jockey or did you want to be something else?
Growing up all I ever wanted to do was go fast, they threw me out of pony club cause me and my pony Tinkerbell as they thought we were racing all the time. I believe even if I wasn’t raised into the game it would have found me eventually.
What has been your most memorable moment so far in your career, why is this the most memorable?
Surprisingly it was winning the Brewarina Cod Cup on Friendsinlowplaces, his owner was released that day from hospital and it was Mr George Wright’s birthday as well… it was just very emotional and I was struggling last year with some things and he was aptly named for what I was going through.
When you are having a tough day in the saddle, how do you keep yourself motivated?
I used to be real bad and criticize myself, but now I will reach out and ask for the help of fellow senior jockeys and stewards. And if I have been wasting I just imagine how good a roast dinner would be.
Who do you look up to in the Industry?
The likes of Nash Rawiller, Steven Arnold, Jason Collett… they are all beautiful riders and willing to help when you ask them something.
Last season saw you have a career best, what was your most memorable moment of the season and why?
Out riding my 2 kilo claim in the country on a trainer I have been wanting to ride a winner for since day one cause he has always supported me and always encouraged me, that being Kingston at Dubbo for John Higgins.
How do you find being an apprentice to your mother, Wanda Ings? Is it difficult or easy?
Working for family is always difficult cause you have to remember to leave work at work and not bring it home, because it can cause conflict… but other than that, being in a family business just makes it mean so much more.
Which horse is your favourite and why?
My favourite horse by far is Williamson, he has been hard work but he is the most honest horse and gives you 110% every time!
What is the one race you would like to win the most and why?
The championships meeting has always been my main goal, and we have a horse setting up for it next year, to ride a winner in town for mum would be amazing, but even better if it was the championships race.
Do you have a special routine that you follow to prepare for a race day?
Leading up to a race meeting I always make sure I’m aware of my weight and diet appropriately, and check on the horse’s form of the race and speed maps.
How do you celebrate your wins?
Depending on when my next race meeting is, I don’t mind occasionally going out to Chinese, we always head to Mountain Palace, North Richmond, when we have something to celebrate.
What are you striving towards in the new season?
Main goal this year is just to get amongst the top 5 apprentices in NSW, with the support I have I believe it’s going to be achievable! And also wouldn’t mind getting to the metropolitan meetings and riding a winner there.
The past few months have been quite the ride for you, tell us about some of your recent success
The last few months have been fabulous for me, starting all with Arise Augustus whose trained by Terry Evans, I have won two feature races aboard him, the BlinknMisit at Coffs Harbour and the Lightning handicap at Taree, he also ran a good 4th in the Hurricane Handicap at Newcastle on the 16th September.
Also won another feature my first country cup at Narromine aboard A Magic Zariza for Cecil Hodgson. Have really hit a purple patch the last couple months having endless amounts of luck and winners! It was a really big thrill for not only me but connections and trainer of Annandale Lass (Group 3 Godolphin Tiara- feature race on Ladies Day out at Muswellbrook) in Dean Jackson.
It has been my main goal to try and win such races for a long time and its finally starting to happen for me, hard work and plenty of traveling is the key (which I am not afraid to do).
What or who is the secret behind your success?
My biggest help this past few months has been my partner Brandon Griffiths, he has really kept me focused and helps me with my speed maps, and I really do appreciate his help!
From her last 50 rides Chelsea has had 6 winners, 7 seconds and 3 thirds.
This is definitely a girl on fire, an up and coming rider who is one to follow and if you own horses you would want on their back.
Thoroughbred Events Australia wishes Chelsea all the best and as an avid promoter of women in racing, we will be following this young lady!
Photos compliments of Sarsfield Thoroughbreds (www.racingphotography.com.au)
Interview by Kylie Johnson[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]