Shantelle over the Moonee
After completing a school project last year on jockey Michelle Payne, Shantelle PatonMcKenzie never thought she’d one day meet her idol.
Little did the 15- yearold Benalla student know what was just around the corner.
Shantelle, a member of the Benalla Pony Club, had her dreams realised when she recently competed in the Ride to Time state finals at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
After finishing second in the Maiden, Shantelle was handed her trophy straight from the hands of the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.
Shantelle said she was extremely excited to meet the lady she looked up to.
‘‘ I just thought wow, Michelle is actually here to present us a trophy,’’ Shantelle said.
‘‘ It’s great to go to Moonee Valley and to be able to ride there is a very big thing, not many people can unless they’re a jockey.’’
This was the third year competing in the event for Shantelle, who one day dreams of riding in the Olympics
Shantelle credits her success on the day to the lucky racing silks she borrowed from friend Charles White and her horse Jazzy, helping her to finish just .0.05 seconds behind the winner.
After winning both Open sections with her other horse Jaxon, Shantelle had to make the call on which horse she’d be taking with her to Moonee Valley to represent the North East.
The aim of the Ride to Time event is for competitors to ride to a certain time, keeping to a steady constant pace.
For Shantelle, the target was 1000 m in two minutes, finishing with a time of 2.00.51.
Shantelle’s mum Sharen said she was incredibly proud of her daughter and would encourage other riders to give the event a go.
‘‘ It would be fantastic to get more pony club riders in our zone trying out or just having a go at this program as it can be an amazing experience,’’ Sharen said.
She would also like to thank the Benalla Racing Club for allowing riders access to the sand track in the lead- up to the event.
Without competing have been said. this, would not possible, she
Dream comes true: Benalla Pony Club member Shantelle Paton-McKenzie after her success at the Ride to Time state finals held at Moonee Valley.
Big gain: Shantelle Paton-McKenzie gets her trophy from Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne.