Episode 282: Beverly Buckingham


Manage episode 287492807 series 2379704
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I first interviewed Bev Buckingham at her Latrobe home in Tasmania during her rehabilitation from injuries received in the Hobart race fall that ended her career in 1998. I saw her again on three occasions over the next few years, but lost touch thereafter. When I spotted a photo of Bev on Twitter recently I launched a successful search for her phone number and thankfully she agreed to this podcast. The trailblazing jockey explains how that photo materialised.

Right off the top I should apologise for some audio glitches over which we had little control. I’m sure you’ll bear with us.

She talks of her family’s move to regional Victoria following her initial rehabilitation, and her brief foray into horse training.

Bev reflects on our visit to the Benalla property where she actually rode a Clydesdale mare for the Sky cameras. It was an emotional moment for us all.

She confesses to flirting with danger some time later when she tried to ride a thoroughbred yearling with disastrous results.

Beverly takes us back to her family’s arrival from England when she was just two years old. Her father was lured to Australia by the government’s call for skilled tradesmen. Their new life began in WA.

The former ace jockey remembers her very first time on a horse. She looks back on the Buckingham family’s move to Tasmania and the friend who talked her father Ted into becoming a horse trainer.

Then it’s fast forward to 1980 when young Bev made her debut as an apprentice jockey in an era of terrible prejudice against female riders.She talks of early winners and the remarkable feat of winning the Tasmanian jockeys premiership in only her second season of riding. She became the first female in the world to win a state title.

Beverly remembers the exciting adventure when she was flown to Sydney by the Nine Network to appear live on Mike Walsh’s Midday Show. She recalls being terrified.

The record breaking jockey talks of her reckless weight reducing measures, and the fateful day when she blacked out while driving to a race meeting. She admits she was lucky to escape with her life.

Bev looks back on favourite horses and some of the landmark occasions in her spectacular career.

She looks back on a stint in Melbourne when her father was invited to take up the option on stables at Ballarat racecourse. She couldn’t believe the opposition to female jockeys in Victoria.

Bev talks of the invitation she got to appear on the popular Bert Newton TV show. She broke new ground by asking the legendary presenter to give her a race ride on one of his own horses. It’s a great yarn!

The groundbreaking jockey looks back on a dream trip to Japan where she rode a couple of winners and came home with some serious money.

The gutsy former jockey was happy to relate the story of the 1998 fall which ended her brilliant career. She takes us through the accident and the immediate aftermath.

Bev takes us through the weeks of pain, despair, frustration, emotional upheaval and the terrible uncertainty of the future. She reveals the insensitive assessment of one particular Doctor.

She talks of her nine years living in Sydney with daughter Tara, the absolute light of her life.

Throughout her life in and out of racing Beverly Buckingham has called a spade a spade. Her trademark honesty is evident all the way through this podcast.

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