Grinning for gold: Nanango Races' unexpected win
A BIG smile, a loud cheer and a hug with her trainer was how Montanna Savva celebrated after an unlikely win at the Nanango Races.
On the third race of the day, Ms Savva and her horse Adayondek claimed their first win together.
According to Ms Savva, despite her hard work, she was not expecting the result.
She said the horse is one that never really went far with racing.
"It will usually push on for the first bit, but then give up towards the end,” she said.
"It's been really hard knowing whether she's going to show us a bit more, and if she'll show whether she wants to be a race horse or not.
"This time, Adayondek saw the light and kept going.”
Ms Savva said her trainer was very excited with the outcome, as it was his first winner.
"It shows today that she can actually make it. It makes you feel really happy that you're doing the right thing.”
Despite the sudden win, Adayondek didn't lose her cheeky character.
To the point where she flung Ms Savva off, before accidentally stepping on her arm.
"She usually gets the pony around, so when she saw the pony out the back, she got a bit silly,” Ms Savva said.
"After she flung me off and stood on my arm, she stayed standing over me, like she was wondering what I was doing on the ground. I couldn't help but think 'really?'
Ms Savva's arm received some bruising from the incident, but nothing too severe.
"It happens often, so I guess you can say it's an occupational hazard. You can't be scared, you just have to get back on and keep going,” she said.
Ms Savva grew up in Ipswich, before working in Eagle Farm with Chris Munce, a jockey with 30 years of successful riding behind him.
"He's probably one of the best jockeys that's been in Australia, so he's a really good boss and mentor to have,” she said.
Ms Savva has always adored horses and has rode them recreationally since she was 10.
Once she knew she wanted a career with horses, she began working as a trackwork rider.
"I soon realised I was light enough to be a jockey, so I thought I might as well give it a go,” she said.
Ms Savva has been a jockey for two full years, taking a gap year in between to revaluate her decision.
"I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life, and I was trying to find myself. But I ended up coming back and riding again, so I guess this is where I'm meant to be.”
After just receiving her provincial license, Ms Savva will race her first provincial race in Toowoomba on Saturday, February 23.