Leigh Woodgate

Leigh Woodgate is a passionate and dedicated jockey who grew up in a racing family in East Gippsland, Victoria. Riding was her life. A natural horsewoman, she became a champion; a high-profile professional jumps jockey, and the only woman ever to win the famously dangerous Great Mountain Race in the Victorian High Country.

Then one race changed everything. She had a horrific fall, broadcast on national television. With the racing world watching and fearing the worst, she survived, but only just. 17 days in a coma, nearly every bone broken, both lungs punctured, brain damage, detached retina… everything but her spirit was broken.

It took Leigh 15 years of perseverance and bloody-minded dedication, to repair her shattered body and mind and finally get back on the horse. Today she rides trackwork two mornings a week, and shares her story of triumph over adversity to inspire, motivate and delight audiences everywhere.



A fearless horsewoman who grew up just down the road from the Snowy, who beat the men at their own game. They breed them tough in those mountains, and Leigh Woodgate’s experiences have been epic. – Tom Burlinson Actor

Leigh’s story is one of extraordinary courage, determination and hope. Every man, woman and child in the room was deeply moved by her journey and we were all left inspired to make the most of our dreams and ready to tackle the insurmountable. I strongly recommend Leigh Woodgate as a powerful motivational and inspirational speaker whose story is relevant to all age groups. – Jonathan Walter Principal at Woodleigh School

Leigh is a fine example of a woman who has risen above her hurdles, and fearlessly steps forward. I certainly recommend her as a unique speaker with a compelling story. – Bernard Saundry CEO of Racing Victoria Limited

Leigh on Australian Story – Woman From Snowy River