Cecily Eaton sent me an email how much she liked the site so I fired off a email interview for her to fill out and here is what she said:
FOTH: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
CE: Trundle, NSW, Australia.
FOTH: What sort of girl were you growing up
CE: Quiet, a bit naughty.
FOTH: Do you have any brothers or sisters? What do they and your parents think of you being a jockey and have they ever seen you ride?
CE: I have 2 brothers, they are all proud of me being a jockey, and they have all seen me ride in races.
FOTH: What event or events led to you becoming a jockey?
CE: As I had ridden horses from an early age, it was a natural progression, and I also thought it would help my confidence level as I had little confidence as a child.
FOTH: I know your from Australia. Is tough becoming a jockey over there? Are there many female riders?
CE: It is tough for girls to get the same chances as the male jockeys, but slowly it is changing. An example is that a female rider (Clare Lindopp) is starting to get rides in our major races now. There are a lot of female riders, but mainly we are riding at lower level race meetings.
FOTH: How many racetracks are over there? How long are the racing meets? Do they get nice crowds for the races and are there many big stake type races?
CE: Probably 200 - 300 tracks, normally there are 5 - 8 races on a day. Sometimes the crowds are large i.e. Melbourne Cup day there are approx. 130,000 people on track, but mostly the crowds are small. There are about 25 Group 1 races each year in Australia, which involve overseas horses quite often
FOTH: When you start off riding, do you get an apprentice allowance like the female riders do in the us?
CE: Yes, we get 3 kilos for the 20 wins, then 2 kilos till 50 wins, then no claim after 80 wins.
FOTH: How long have you rode for and how long would you like to ride for? What is the riding weight for riders over in Australia?
CE: So far I have ridden for 8 years, and I would like to ride until I catch a man with shitloads of $$$$ lol - Any offers looked at !!! Riding weights vary from about 49 kilos to about 60 kilos, depending on the race. My riding weight is about 51 kilos.
FOTH: Would you ever want to come ride in the us one day?
CE: WOULD LOVE TO !!! If someone was to sponsor me, I would love the opportunity to ride in USA. Have been to Oxford (PA) - 1996 - under Janet Elliot, before I become a jockey in Australia.
FOTH: Take us through what you do in a typical day?
CE: Trackwork from 3:30 am till 8:30 am riding approx. 12-14 horses, then I have to ring trainers for race rides for the upcoming meetings, then I go shopping for an hour or two, then the most important part of the day: At 4:30 pm each day I watch "The Bold And The Beautiful" It's a hard life, but someone has to do it !!!!
FOTH: Have you have any injuries and what was the worst one?
CE: I have had a shoulder reconstruction, and broke my leg in a racefall. Thankfully that's the worst to have happened.
FOTH: Can a jockey make a good living riding in Australia?
CE: Very much so, but it is only the top 10 or so who would make a substantial amount. For the rest of us it is a hard grind.
FOTH: Do female riders get some respect or do you have to earn it like here in the US?
CE: It is very hard to get the respect we should, we probably work at it harder than the males, but at times it does frustrate the girls. It is slowly changing, but still along way to go.
FOTH: What sort of stuff do you like to do when your away from the racetrack?
CE: Shop, shop, shop and the Bold
FOTH: Do you have any goals for yourself and have you reached any of your goals yet?
CE: My goal is to be the best as I can, and to be accepted as a good jockey, not just a girl jockey
FOTH: Do you lift weights, go to the gym at all to stay in shape?
CE: Off and on I go to the gym, not as much as I could, but time escapes me at times.
FOTH: If a girl came up to you and said she wanted to be a jockey, what advice would you give her?
CE: If you want to have a go, give it 100% because it's hard enough being a girl in this game anyway, so you must be focused and determined above all else. Stay level headed if success comes because it won't always be easy.
FOTH: Do you feel with each race you ride, your still improving as a jockey?
CE: Absolutely, sometimes I get frustrated because I don't feel I have done myself justice, but mostly I get something to improve on from each ride.
FOTH: Would you like tom ride in any other countries, like England, Japan, Chile, etc.?
CE: It would be awesome to ride overseas, in Ireland, Japan, etc.
FOTH: After you retire, would you still like to stay involved in horse racing?
CE: I would like to be involved helping the young riders as they progress through their careers. I believe I have a natural ability to help people when they need it, and my zany sense of humor endears me to people
FOTH: Any last words? Thanks for the interview.
CE: Sorry it took me a while to get back to you, I have been busy lately. Thank you for the opportunity to tell you my story.