Jockey Robert Thompson 4,000 Winners

robert-thompsonI congratulate yet another sporting champion to come out of the Cessnock electorate. We have given the State Andrew Johns, Casey Stoner and Chad Reed, and now we have also given it legendary jockey Robert Thompson. In early May at Broadmeadow racecourse Robert rode his 4,000th winner. It will not surprise anyone to know that that is an Australasian record. It may surprise people to know that Robert was 14 when he started in 1973—just after I was born. Nobody who has jumped on a horse in this country has ridden more winners. Robert actually passed another record back in 2008 when he rode his 3,372nd winner and then managed to eke out another 628 since—pretty good considering he is 55 years old. The life of a jockey can be pretty punishing with falls, not eating what they want and spending hours every day travelling to and from race meetings, but Robert Thompson loves it. After celebrating his 4,000th winner, he was off to Mudgee on the Sunday and Quirindi on the Monday. That is professionalism, and a lesson to young people in my electorate and around the State to find what you love and work hard. There is no limit to what you can do.