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As an elder statesman of the jockey’s room in the bush, James Baker has a simple message for anyone that is struggling with their sexuality.“I am here to listen if you ever need me,” the 42-year-old hoop says.Baker has become a mentor to other jockey’s in recent times and details his journey in the sport.
Greyhound trainer Ashley Walsh is all about educating and hopefully helping others.The Deception Bay-based dog conditioner was assigned female at birth and in his late teenage years he decided to medically transition to now identify as a male.He battled his mental demons through depression in high school and through speaking publicly in Racing Queensland’s Racing With Pride series, Walsh hopes to provide an insight into his plight to help others who may be battling with similar struggles.
Tyler Leslight never dreamed that his life could have changed so much in the period of time since he sat at Clifford Park in early 2022 and bared his soul to the world.Leslight became the first jockey in Australia to openly declare he was transgender. Just over 18 months on, Leslight details his journey since that day, which includes significant milestones on the track, as well being regarded as a leader in the LGBTIQ+ community.
The Toowoomba-based Becks are a partnership at home as well as at the race track. Trainer Nick Hahn earlier this year married Greer Beck and ‘Beck Racing’ was formed.Nick trains the gallopers after serving a timely apprenticeship under a handful of leading trainers from around Australia while Greer does the book work and office duties for the stable.Greer will often give his husband a hand with the physical work with the horses, as well.
While Watts no longer trains greyhounds in her own name, she is a driving force behind the scenes of the Rob Essex kennel. The Greenbank-based Watts is a dog enthusiast and loves being in the industry. Watts is a proud member of the LGBTIQA+ community and details her experiences within the racing industry.
Miller has been in the sport of harness racing for his entire life.His parents owned pacers before he got into the mini trotters, progressed through to being a junior driver and now is an assistant trainer for the Shannon Price stable.Miller was not truly happy and content within himself as a gay man until he met his eventual husband Steve Zell.
Tye is a smiling face that many racegoers in the Sunshine State are familiar with. Tye is a strapper for the Group 1-winning Kris Lees stable as well as riding track work on the Sunshine Coast and running a spelling and pre-training facility. The long-time racing participant is presently transitioning from male to female. Tye strapped Amokura in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks recently for Lees.
Tyler broke new ground in early 2022 when he publicly declared he was transgender, becoming the first jockey in Australia to do so. Just over 18 months since Tyler detailed his journey, the 23-year-old has cemented himself as a rising apprentice in Queensland. Tyler claimed the Country Apprentice Jockey’s Premiership last season with 41 winners. He finished second in the overall Country Jockey’s Premiership by just two victories.