• Simon Russell

How a family work ethic drove Kerrin McEvoy to win three Melbourne Cups

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy is a true icon of horse racing, with an incredible three Melbourne Cup victories to his name. His dream career, however, very nearly came to a premature end in the face of adversity when Kerrin was just 17 years old.

Kerrin shared his story on a recent episode of Pickstar’s Off-Field Podcast. He told listeners that from an early age he knew his passion was horse racing, which came as no surprise to his pop, dad and two uncles, all of whom were jockeys. It was from his family that Kerrin developed his work ethic and learnt not to be, “afraid to get in there and have a crack”.

“I think being around a family that didn’t mind a bit of hard work was inspirational and influential as a young kid,” Kerrin says on the Off-Field Podcast.

Kerrin had to call on these family values when as a 17-year-old he suffered a broken arm and begun doubting if he was up to the rigours of horse racing. 

“I ended up sticking it out, and it took a little bit of luck and a little bit of hard work and determination," he says.

“I gained some momentum and became more aware of what was needed in Melbourne, my form started to change, and I started to really have some more success.”

His determination and work-ethic culminated in Kerrin winning his first Melbourne Cup at 20-years-of-age.

“I pride myself on the fact that I believe I took it pretty well and really kept my eye on the ball in regard to making the most of it and capitalising on the position I was in.

“Having won that first Melbourne Cup, I really wanted to cement myself in the top echelon of riders here in Australia.”

With three Melbourne Cups, two Everests, a Caulfield Cup and a Golden Slipper, it's a goal Kerrin can rightly say he has achieved. However, despite all his accolades, Kerrin still has the hunger and passion to compete in and win major races.

“I love going out and competing at that high level, I love knowing that I’m under pressure, I like to thrive off that to gain focus on the job at hand.”

Kerrin wants to instill the values taught to him by his family when he was young into his own children.

“You try and teach all those core values to your kids and try to instill a bit of work ethic into them.”

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