Matter of Interest
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:22): I rise today to speak about Clare Lindop and the racing industry. Clare Lindop has been acknowledged as one of the most accomplished female jockeys of all time. In 2003, Clare became the first Australian female jockey to ride in the Melbourne Cup. She also became the first female to win a South Australian metropolitan premiership and the Victoria Derby. In March this year, Clare announced that she would retire at the end of the Adelaide Festival of Racing. With over 1,400 wins over the course of her career, she has left a lasting impression on the Australian racing industry and her achievements will be recognised in her induction into the South Australian Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame this September.
Clare's career began when she left school at the age of 15 to become an apprentice jockey in Victoria. Despite not coming from a racing family, her parents were supportive of her choice to pursue her goals in racing. Clare moved to Adelaide in 1999 to complete her apprenticeship, and she later formed a successful partnership with trainer and mentor Leon Macdonald. Throughout her career, Clare had to overcome many challenges. In 2014, she sustained her worst injuries as a jockey, shattering her right collarbone and breaking 15 ribs. After taking five months to recover, Clare came back to win the 2014-15 South Australian premiership. This is an amazing accomplishment and is a testament to her unrelenting desire to succeed.
Not only has Clare been a premier jockey for the last two decades, but she has also been a groundbreaker for women in sport. Although the industry is largely male dominated, she has referred to it as one that rewards ability over gender or background. Her successful career and her contribution to the racing industry will pave the way for increased female engagement in the future. Clare has always been passionate about the racing industry and she will continue to be involved in some way, despite retirement. I congratulate her for her stellar career and for her influence in inspiring others to be involved in this industry.
The racing industry is a vital part of South Australia's economy, generating more than $400 million in economic benefits. The activities of the racing industry also sustains the employment of more than 3,600 full-time South Australian employees. Racing was once South Australia's second largest industry but has now fallen to sixth. Unfortunately, this industry has also declined from ranking third in Australia to equal fifth with Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
In 1990, the prize money for South Australian races was approximately 60 per cent of Victoria's prize money per race but it has now decreased to less than 35 per cent. Low prize money for wins in South Australia has resulted in trainers moving interstate so that they can remain competitive. As a state, we cannot afford to continue to let the racing industry decline. We must acknowledge that the economic and employment benefits of the racing industry are important for all South Australians.