Michelle Payne: The Movie

‘Ride Like a Girl’ release date: 26th September 2019


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Michelle Payne – Life Story

Growing up on a farm at Miners Rest, near Ballarat in Central Victoria, Michelle is the youngest daughter of the ten children of Paddy and Mary Payne. Tragically, Michelle’s mother Mary died in a motor vehicle accident when Michelle was only six months old, leaving Paddy to raise the children as a single father.

A racing family, a career in the saddle always beckoned for Michelle and she followed seven of her brothers and sisters when she rode in her first competitive race at the age of 15. Riding at Ballarat, Michelle saluted in her first race aboard Reigning – a horse trained by her father.

Michelle’s career hasn’t been without challenges. In March 2004 at the age of just 18, Michelle was pulling up her mount Vladivostok, having just finished 11th in the Torbek Handicap at Sandown. 100 metres past the winning post the horse fell suddenly, sending Michelle head first into the turf. The incident left Michelle with a fractured skull and bruising to her brain.

Michelle suffered two further serious falls in 2012 and in May 2016, just months after winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup, Michelle suffered yet another life threatening fall at Mildura. This time Michelle required pancreatic surgery and a long recovery, before yet another inspiring comeback to racing.

Michelle’s affinity for horses has seen her ride over 700 winners, including five Group One’s –

  • Toorak Handicap (2009) – Allez Wonder
  • Produce Stakes (2010) – Yosei
  • The Thousand Guineas (2010) – Yosei
  • Tattersall’s Tiara (2011) – Yosei
  • Melbourne Cup (2015) – Prince of Penzance

In 2016, Michelle and her brother Stephen were given the honour of being named Queen and King of Moomba.


Moviehole Review

Director Rachel Griffiths “trots out a warm, effortlessly inspiring and extremely moving film” in this review published by Moviehole. READ MORE...

The Today Show

Richard Wilkins sits with Michelle Payne & film director Rachel Griffiths on The Today Show to discuss the new Ride Like A Girl film READ MORE...

The woman who stopped the nation

Her life is being made into a film, and next month she’ll be honoured with a prestigious award overseas. But it’s the less glamorous side of the horse racing that spurs on Michelle Payne READ MORE...

Queen of Zealand set for Derby Day

Queen of Zealand is set to run in the Group 2 Mumm Wakeful Stakes over 2000m at Flemington this Saturday. Regardless of the result, history will be made as Michelle becomes the first person in Victoria to ride and train a runner at Group level. READ MORE...

New Stable Arrival – Queen of Zealand

Very excited to be training the stakes placed filly Queen of Zealand. She has settled in very well and we now start our ambitious journey to try and win the 2016 Oaks. Thanks again for my owners for their trust and support. READ MORE...

Life as I know It – The Updated Edition – by Michelle Payne and John Harms