Local Identities

Racing Double Act

Tegan Harrison is fast becoming the name on local race-goers’ lips.

You only have to wander through the crowd at the Clarence River Jockey Club [CRJC] in Grafton during a race day event to hear the Lawrence jockey’s name being repeated.
Her popularity stems from the respect she has gained amongst the racing fraternity over the last five years, as she has worked her way up through the ranks to become one of Australia’s top jockeys.
Horse racing is in Tegan’s family’s genes, with mother Bev a former jockey, her uncle Neville a trainer and her grandfather was an SP bookmaker.
Despite her family’s racing connections, becoming a jockey was not something she’d ever contemplated as a future career path. The 29-year-old grew up in the small village of Lawrence and, according to Tegan, during that time she was right into pony club and associated events in the Northern Rivers.

“Mum was keen on me riding, earlier on (in life),” she said.

“I remember way before my teenage years, I would tag along and watch mum doing track work at the old Lawrence racecourse and she taught me how to ride track work.”
Tegan said that it wasn’t until she was studying to be a nurse and took on track work to help pay her uni fees, that she discovered a love for riding and wanted to learn more.“I kicked off my apprenticeship at the Dave Kelly [Thoroughbred Racing] stables on the Gold Coast before transferring to Bruce Hill [Racing Stables] and spent most of my four years as an apprentice with him,” said Tegan.








“Mum was pretty shocked and surprised at my career change.”

“She’s given me a few tips, but she pretty well lets me run my own race.”
Tegan’s mother, Bev Want, was one of the first lady jockeys on the Northern Rivers and was a champion in her own right.

“In our days there were only two or three lady jockeys,” said Bev.

“It’s far more competitive these days.”

Family photo pic: contributed

Bev won races in what was then a male dominated profession.
In 1983 during the Grafton July Racing Carnival, 17-year-old apprentice Bev became the first lady jockey to win the South Grafton Cup on Flashing Red.
In 1984 Bev was the first lady jockey to win the Lismore Cup, once again on Flashing Red.








Tegan Harrison with winning trainers Tony and Jane Gollan, after Tegan’s winning ride on Temple of Boom in the Group 2 Victory Stakes during last year’s Brisbane winter carnival. Pic: contributed


Lynne Mowbray