Shantelle over the Moonee

Benalla Ensign - - Motorsport - By Ge­or­gia Smith

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.

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