Tuesday, 3 July 2012
: It might seem rudimentary, pedestrian even, for a jockey to promise to win a race – but not for Kayla McEwen.
| Kayla McEwen|
Photo by Racing and Sports
Some 13 years ago Racing NSW employee Kris McEwen suffered a fatal asthma attack after a transfer to Mungindi, situated on the border of NSW and Queensland.
His fiancée Kayla had only recently given birth to their daughter Elisha, and had elected to stay in Sydney until they could find a suitable property to live.
Kris died just two months before the couple's wedding day and Kayla vowed to her daughter that she would win the Mungindi Cup for her and Kris.
Last year Kayla attempted to make good on that promise. Unfortunately, there was no fairy-tale ending for Kayla McEwen in Mungindi last year.
After riding the winner prior to the Mungindi Cup, Kayla was thrown off her mount as it attempted to jump the outside fence.
She was unconscious after the spill and didn't ride in the Cup.
It might seem like déjà vu, but Bega-based McEwen will make the 1500km journey to Mungindi again this week with her daughter Elisha, who was just six months old when Kris died.
“Elisha has always had this great sense of humour, but when I was knocked off last year at Mungindi she was scared because of the significance I think," McEwen said.
“I was thrown from a horse at Cooma once and was knocked unconscious and the first thing I remember is the paramedic saying 'she's coming too, but she looks confused.'
“Then I see Elisha's head bob up and she says 'well you don't know mummy very well then, she's always confused.'
“Once I win the Mungindi Cup I think she'll be alright.”
McEwen will ride the Len Bryant-trained Sinful Warrior in the Mungindi Cup this year and she likes her chances.
“He's one of the best horses in the race and I wouldn't be surprised if he started favourite,” she said.
Whether she wins or loses there is no doubt McEwen's sheer determination and strength is a testament to her character and she is certain all of Mungindi will be cheering her on to make good on that promise.
And Kayla won't be riding by herself - she'll have Elisha with her, and Kris too.
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