Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content


  • She's Game: Women Making Australian Sporting History

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Buckingham, Beverley (Bev) (1965 - )

15 March 1965


Bev Buckingham settled in Australia in 1967. She became the first female jockey in the southern hemisphere to win 1000 races. After a fall at the Elwick Racecource (Hobart) in May 1998 she was wheelchair-bound, but regained her strength and mobility until she was able to walk again unaided.


Born in Norfolk, England, Bev Buckingham migrated to Australia with her parents when she was two years old. Living in Tasmania she was soon helping her father, a racehorse trainer, in his stables while taking riding lessons and competing through pony clubs. Aged fourteen she became an apprentice jockey for her father. Women were not allowed to compete against male jockies until the 1970s when the Lady Jockey's Association lobbied for fifteen races per year on country Victorian racetracks. By 1979 women were permitted to race as regular jockies. Buckingham and her friend Kim Dixon were among the first women to race professionally against men in the 1980s.

A win on her fourth ride at Elwick in 1980, on Limit Man, launched Buckingham's career. By the end of her first season's racing she had ridden 22 winners and was ranked ninth overall on the jockeys' table. With a total of 63 winners in her second season, at the age of seventeen, Buckingham became the first woman in the world to win a State Jockey's Premiership. Over her eighteen year career she brought home trophies for the Devonport Cup, the Launceston Cup, the Queen's Cup and the Hobart Cup (three times - 1986, 1996, 1998). In 1984 she became the first woman to ride in the Caulfield Cup. On winning the Queen's Cup she received a personal letter from Queen Elizabeth II expressing her pleasure in being able to congratulate a woman jockey on winning her race.

After a horrific accident in May 1998 in which Buckingham fractured two vertebrae in her neck, she spent many months in rehabilitation on her family's Tasmanian property. She defied predictions that she would never walk again, and gave birth to a daughter, Tara, in 2000. Today she works with her father as a racehorse trainer at Sienna Lodge in Victoria. She was inducted into the inaugural Tasmanian Racing Hall of Fame in 2005.


Wins apprentice's title and ranked fourth overall on the jockeys' table
First woman to ride in the Caulfield Cup
Wins the Devonport Cup on Exdirectory
Wins the Queen's Cup on Exdirectory
Wins the Hobart Cup on Dark Intruder
Wins the Launceston Cup on Brave Trespasser
1995 - 1996
Rides 109 winners for the season, setting a State record
Wins the Hobart Cup on Jam City
1996 - 1997
Wins her third Tasmanian Premiership (64 winners)
Wins the Hobart Cup on L'Espoin

Sources used to compile this entry:; Australian Racing Museum;;

Digital resources

Beverley Buckingham


Anne Heywood and Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124