Colac connection to new film

Joan Sadler and Michelle Payne

“I had no idea my part was going to be played by Jacki Weaver; I thought I’d get a mention but had no idea to what extent it would be.”

Former Colac district resident Joan Sadler says it’s daunting to see her life as a manager feature in Ride Like a Girl, an upcoming film about jockey Michelle Payne.

The film, directed by Rachel Griffiths, is about Michelle’s challenges and triumphs as she makes her way in a male-dominated industry to win the race that stops the nation.

Joan began managing Michelle in 2001, but her family ties with racing date back as far as 1915 when her great-aunt Edith Widdis was the first woman to own a Melbourne Cup winner, 100 years before Michelle was the first woman jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

In a happy coincidence, both horses, Edith’s Patrobas and Michelle’s Prince of Penzance, the horse Michelle rode at 100-to-one odds to win the cup, both carried saddle cloth 19.

Joan learnt to ride horses as a child when she lived at Swan Hill but her involvement in racing began at Terang under the eye of Terang horse trainers Fred and Nell Dreiver.

“I used to go to their place and work in the stables every school holidays and absolutely loved getting up at 4am and working with the horses,” she said.

Through her ties with the Terang horse trainers, Joan met and married John Sadler, who she has parted way with, and furthered her involvement in racing.

Joan said she received a call from Michelle’s dad Paddy Payne in the early 2000s asking her to manage Michelle as she began her career as a jockey.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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