During a lifetime a lot of us dream of leaving our own little mark on history. Mostly it happens through a special feat or remarkable achievement.
Whether it comes by chance or it’s the result of sheer hard work, it is something you are always remembered for. Once your name enters the record books, it’s there forever.
Skye Bogenhuber exceeded her dreams and has left racing legacies which can never be taken away from her. The former champion Clifford Park jockey is now on a new career path after quietly retiring from the saddle earlier this year.
A run of track accidents, head injuries and concussions brought on her premature retirement decision. Ironically, Skye is now studying to become a neurological nurse, and such is the impact she is making in her new field she is preparing to take up a graduate position next year at Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Skye casts a long shadow over Clifford Park. In 2013 she entered the record books as the first female jockey to win Toowoomba’s iconic Weetwood Handicap. Other highpoints included victories in the 2013 Toowoomba Cup aboard Bang On and 2015 Pat O’Shea Plate (Greyt Start).
Skye created further history in the 2011-12 racing season when she became the first female to win a Clifford Park jockeys’ premiership. She subsequently peeled off a stunning five successive title wins to earn the crown as the Queen Of Clifford Park.
Skye’s Weetwood victory for her long-time supporter and friend Michael Nolan will remain her favourite racing moment, which included a Group 2 win on The Monstar.
“The win on Miss Imagica still feels like it was only yesterday,” Skye recalled this week. “I know a Group 2 on The Monstar was enormous for me, but the Weetwood win marked the best part of my riding career. I was flying at that time and we are talking about a Toowoomba feature win.
“I like to think Toowoomba is my home and that’s why it still means so much to me. The Pat O’Shea win came a couple of years later, but was also special for me and Michael. We both wanted to win it so badly after the passing of Pat only a few weeks earlier. Michael was a massive supporter of mine.
“I’ll be forever grateful to Tony Gollan, who I won the Toowoomba Cup with, as well for virtually giving me the start I needed and helping me achieve what I was able to.
“I’m at peace with my decision to retire when I did.
“I appreciate everyone who had faith in me and helped me enjoy all the success I had along the way.”
In 2020 Skye represented Toowoomba Turf Club as its Face Of Weetwood.
By Glen McCullough