14 July 2020

Matthew Hyland, CEO of the Victorian Jockeys’ Association shares his passion of the industry and provides insight into his day-to-day life.

My job is ... CEO of the Victorian Jockeys’ Association.

The best part of my job is ... that I represent an extremely united bunch of people in the racing industry.

A challenging part of my job is ... with 178 members, it can be difficult to meet all the members’ expectations. Being a jockey is an occupation that presents at times a very intense environment. Jockeys go to work every day with a target on their back and their performance is often scrutinised. That in itself brings a number of challenges and it is important that our Association is there to support through thick and thin.

I love my job because ... every day is unique and I enjoy talking to people.

My career background is ... I was a  jockey for five years, a trainer for 17 years, a jockey coach for three years and now my current role for the last four years.

I am setting my sights on ... continuing to aim at having world’s best practice in safety, remuneration and welfare for jockeys in Victoria.

Someone who I admire is ... my father Pat. He was a successful jockey, trainer and family man who is a Hall Of Famer! He also calls a spade a spade!

My favourite racing moment is  ... when my father won the Melbourne Cup in 1985 on What A Nuisance. Oh, and any of the winners I rode or trained!

A horse I have loved or admired is ... Black Caviar, Makybe Diva and Winx for obvious reasons. I also loved a horse I trained called Suavity who provided me with some great thrills.

I like the sport of racing because ... of the people you meet and the fact you can go racing anywhere in the world and form solid friendships because of your love of the sport.

My job was affected by the covid-19 pandemic because ... of the constant changes from day-to-day that needed to be communicated to jockeys.

We overcame the challenges of the pandemic by ... implementing separation amongst the jockeys into two groups, Green and Gold. Once all participants understood the importance of demonstrating separation to continue racing, it quickly became the new normal.

In my spare time I like to ... travel overseas without my phone!

The racing industry in Australia is ... by far and away the best in the world.