Apprentice jockeys Jessica Eaton and Melissa Julius have been awarded top honours in the latest batch of graduates from Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program.
The two were among 11 apprentices to graduate in a ceremony conducted at Flemington racecourse on Thursday night.
Eaton, 24, claimed the Victorian Jockeys’ Association Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in Training award while 26-year-old Julius collected the Andrew Gilbert Principles of Sport Science award.
They were joined at the ceremony by fellow graduates Mitch Aitken, Juana Andreou, Lucy Doodt, Trent Germaine, Chelsea Hall, Tahlia Hope, Rose Pearson, Jessie Philpot and Brandon Stockdale.
The apprentices were praised for their dedication to their craft on a night when a record eight female jockeys graduated.
Women currently make up 23 per cent of licensed jockeys across the state.
The apprentices each received a memento of their time in the program and were congratulated by RV’s chief executive officer Giles Thompson.
Five-time Scobie Breasley Medal winner Craig Williams is a past graduate while more recent graduates include Regan Bayliss, Katelyn Mallyon, Beau Mertens and Ben Thompson.
The four-year program offers specialist learning in areas such as race riding, performance analysis, sports science and sports medicine, as well as media, finance and business skills.