Tracy jumps from fashions field to racing in the saddle
AFTER a tilt at the Fashions on the Field at the Ipswich Cup, it was back in the saddle for respected Rockhampton jockey Tracy O'Hara.
As the judges announced Tracy won third place for the Riverlink Ipswich Cup Fashions on the Field, she was nowhere to be seen.
Judges were shocked as a voice from the crowd shouted, "She's a jockey".
Tracy was preparing for her ride on Stop Crying in Race 5, the Queensland Times Stayer Series Final.
"I didn't even know. They called my name but I wasn't able to come up because I had to go ride," O'Hara said. "I had to go do that. That was my first priority."
Like her sister, leading Sydney-based rider Kathy O'Hara, she had to juggle her racing commitments with fashion.
Tracy took out first prize in the Fashions on the Field at last year's Rockhampton Cup and competed at a couple of fashion competitions, but this was the first where she was riding.
"I love dressing up," she said.
"Obviously it's a different side compared to riding in our silks all the time.
"Getting all dolled up it's something fun, it's something different, it makes you feel like a girl.
"You're thought of as one of the boys when you're riding all the time."
Wearing a striking fascinator from Rockhampton milliner Fascinators by Kylie and an Esther-made dress with Victorian lace style necklace, Tracy was a shoo-in for a place.
"I try to support local fashion as much as I can. They've been great up here."
Tracy is a respected race rider with about 13 years' experience and a qualified school teacher.
She has had 21 wins from more than 300 rides in the past 12 months.
She almost matched her fashion placing in a close race for third place in the Queensland Times Stayer Series Final on Stop Crying.
"She only just got beat by half a length for third," she said.
"She was running fourth the whole way up the straight and the last two just got me at the end there, so I ended up getting sixth. That's not too bad.
"For a roughie it was good."
See tomorrow's Bulletin for the winners of Fashions on the Field from Saturday's Rockhampton races.