By Kate Taylor
Jockey Kassie Furness has finished her Racing Victoria apprenticeship – and is already in fine form.
Furness rode a double at Ballarat late last year, and already has more than 70 wins under her belt, including more than ten since beginning the Racing Victoria Apprentice Jockey Training program at the start of last year.
It’s been a busy time for the 25 year old.
“It’s been quite busy this time of year, and at the end of last year, I’ve been riding at least four or five days a week on average,” Furness explains.
“I’ve been getting up at 4am – that one hurts… but you get used to it, at the end of the day you definitely have to love what you do and if you don’t’ love it then you leave it.”
Furness’ only intention is to love the industry – the former Ballan girl is even in the process of buying a house and stables in Bendigo, with plans to extend her reach in the sport.
“Eventually I’ll look into training, eventually. I’m extending my apprenticeship for another 12 months, because I had 12 months off racing in New South Wales and Queensland, and after that I’ll be looking at pursuing training.
“I had the 12 months off, I needed to get away and just do it on my own and grow up as an adult and learn about life and saving, and all the vital things that you need to learn in life, so I moved away to learn my craft. My goal was always to move back home to my family, it’s time to be with the family and I didn’t want to miss out on the little things in life.”
Her return home was in somewhat of a blaze of glory.
“The first time I ever rode in Ballarat, I rode the double, it was actually quite close to my heart, because obviously I grew up in Ballan, so I did a lot of stuff at Ballarat, and it was good to have my first meeting in my home town and ride two winners.”
Furness will spend the next 12 months completing her apprenticeship with Kym Hann Racing at Bendigo.