Lady of Racing Finalists celebrated for equine welfare and female empowerment

After receiving an impressive selection of nominations, Racing Victoria (RV) and The Victorian Wakeful Club are pleased to announce the four finalists in contention for the prestigious 2020 Lady of Racing Award.

The quartet of nominees are RV acknowledged retrainer, Fiona McIntyre; former President of the Victorian Wakeful Club, Jenny Moodie; founder of the Racing Hearts program, Lisa Coffey; and jockey, trainer and Clerk of the Course, Sally Wynne.   

The Lady of Racing Award, established in 1993 by The Victorian Wakeful Club, recognises females who have played a significant role in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.

This year’s winner will be announced at the annual Lady of Racing Award Luncheon at The Glasshouse on Friday, 6 March, two days before International Women’s Day.

RV’s CEO, Giles Thompson, said the awards highlighted the continued commitment being made by female members of the racing industry to both equine and human welfare. 

“In a year where we have seen an increased focus on equine welfare, it’s very pleasing to see two RV Acknowledged Retrainers in Fiona McIntyre and Lisa Coffey recognised for the tireless work they do every day in rehoming retired racehorses,” Thompson said.

“Racing is a multidimensional industry with various roles in numerous vocations, and it is very pleasing to see nominations for Jenny Moodie, who has been instrumental in establishing world-class breeding operations here in Victoria, and Sally Wynne, who is not only a talented jockey and Clerk of the Course but also a leader for women in both training and riding.”

President Of The Victorian Wakeful Club, Caitrin Kelly, said the Club is delighted to once again join with Racing Victoria to hold their annual Lady of Racing Award. 

“First presented in by the Victorian Wakeful Club in 1994, we have seen many exceptional ladies crowned as the Lady of Racing in the years since. 

“This year we had a record number of nominations and look forward to celebrating the contributions of female participants in the racing and breeding industry in the run up to International Women’s Day,” Kelly said.

McIntyre, previously a runner-up in Godolphin’s Stud and Stable Staff Awards, has been nominated for the Lady of Racing Award for her continuous work in retraining and rehoming thoroughbreds., 

McIntrye has dedicated herself to promoting life after racing and currently has two champion racehorses in her care: Bart Cummings’ former grand stayer Precedence, who ran in four Melbourne Cups and won two Moonee Valley Cups, and two-time Group 1 winner Sirmione.

Moodie has also been recognised for a lifelong career and commitment to both the racing and breeding industries. 

She is currently the manager of Hesket Bloodstock, which has produced some spectacular results on the racetrack and in the sales ring. Before that she worked with her husband David in establishing Contract Racing’s successful Craiglea stud at Kilmore as well as Hobson’s Lodge, a state-of-the-art breeding operation at Flemington. 

As President of the Victorian Wakeful Club, Moodie is credited with growing the Lady of Racing Award ceremony into the prestigious event it is today.

The owner and operator of Racing Hearts, an organisation that provides mental health support for people of all ages and backgrounds, Coffey also boasts a long and varied resumé in the thoroughbred industry.

Through Racing Heart’s partnership with Andrew Wilson Auctions, Coffey has been instrumental in salvaging horses that were unwanted, malnourished or injured. 

Coffey also advises state government representatives, stakeholders and peak racing bodies on horse welfare, and has previously sat on the board of the Australian Jumps Racing Association.

Credited as one of the most successful female apprentices of her time, Wynne currently combines her riding career on the country circuit with her role as a Clerk of the Course.

Wynne was one of the first recipients of a dual trainer and jockey licence, paving the way for her fellow female jockeys including previous Lady of Racing Award winner, Michelle Payne.