GROUP ONE-winning jockey Clare Lindop wants to come home and ride at this year’s Warrnambool May Carnival before she hangs up her saddle.
Lindop, who has ridden more than 1400 winners in her illustrious career including four Group 1 races started as an apprentice for Warrnambool trainer Frank Byrne before transferring her indentures to the late Hamilton trainer Jack Barling.
The former Warrnambool College student told The Standard she still has fond memories of her early years learning to ride at John Lee’s tourist farm at Wangoom after she announced her retirement plans for May on Tuesday.
“They were great days out at Wangoom before I started my apprenticeship,” Lindop said. “I think I was 10-years-old and asked my dad if I could have a pony.
“He offered to take me out to John Lee’s to ride a pony. Dad thought I would lose interest but the passion to ride horses just grew from there.
“I consider I’ve had a wonderful career. My first race ride was at the 1995 Warrnambool May Racing Carnival.
“I’ve only had a handful of rides at the carnival over the years because I’m based in Adelaide but I would love to come back and ride a couple in my old hometown. It would be a nice end to my career.”
Lindop’s long list of achievements include being the first Australian woman to ride in a Melbourne Cup and the first female winner of the Victoria Derby.
“I would not change a thing,” she said. “I just hope my career as a jockey may inspire young girls to get involved in the sport I love.”