Setting Records in the Early Days
Bev was born in Norfolk in England and migrated to Australia with her family when she was two. Her father was a horse trainer in Tasmania and she perused her love of horses through Pony Clubs, Riding Schools, and Gymkhanas. She rode track work and helped her father around the stables. In 1979, at the age of fourteen, Bev left school to become apprentice jockey in her father’s stables. Winner followed winner and she rapidly became Tasmania’s best jockey and one of the best lady jockeys in the country. In 1981, in her second season of riding she won the first of three Tasmanian
Jockeys premierships with 63 winners while still a 17 year old apprentice. In accomplishing this feat she became the first woman in the world to win a state jockeys premiership.
Bev’s career continued to develop and in 1984 Bev was the first woman to ride in the Caulfield Cup. In 1995 she set a State record of 109 winners in winning the jockeys premiership for the second time. One day at Mowbray, Tasmania’s leading track she rode 5 winners.
Career Ending Injury
On 906 winners Bev was poised to become the first female jockey to ride 1,000 winners in the Southern Hemisphere, Tragically her career ended with a horrific accident in 1998 which resulted in two fractured vertebrae in her neck, damaging her spinal cord and making her a quadriplegic.
Bev spent many months in a wheelchair with the gloomy predictions of doctors that she would never walk again hanging over her head. However, showing the courage and fighting spirit she displayed on the racetrack, Bev recovered a lot of her strength and mobility. She overcame both the physical injuries and personal family problems which would have stopped most people.. Australia has no braver sports athlete. Since retiring from race riding Bev lives in Victoria with her daughter Tara.