YOUNG Wodonga horsewoman Amber Comb enjoyed a dream start to her picnic riding career after she landed a winner at Dederang last month.
Comb, 21, only recently gained her picnic licence and finished third in her first race ride before piloting the Brian Cox-trained Bartazari to victory in her second ride.
She also finished fourth aboard another Cox galloper in Cosmo in the Dederang Cup won by Surfcoast Racer.
“It was a big adrenaline rush and a huge thrill to ride a winner,” Comb said
“I never dreamt I would become a jockey when I first started as a stablehand for Brian when I left school in 2010.
“I started to ride a bit of track work which I liked and that sort of sparked my interest.
“I’m too heavy to be a professional jockey so the only other option for me was to get my picnic licence.
“I treat it as a hobby but I have ambitions to eventually become a trainer.”
Comb has had one further race ride since Dederang for a victory aboard the Cox-trained Elakasam at Yea on January 27.
She juggles her passion for working with horses with studying business management at Wodonga TAFE.
A typical day will see Comb arrive early in the morning at the Cox stables to ride track work.
She then heads off to TAFE before returning to the stables in the afternoon.
Comb initially got involved with horses at a young age.
“My uncle had Western horses which I used to ride around the farm to round up the cows,” she said.
“I also did a bit of pony club.
“I’ve always been involved with horses, just not racehorses.”
Cox said Comb was now an integral part of his stables success.
“Good help is hard to find and she has a good work ethic,” Cox said.