By Andrew Atkinson
Trainer Mick Easterby’s granddaughter Joanna Mason – in her first season as a professional jockey – was crowned joint leading rider at Beverley for 2021, with Kevin Stott.
Jo, based at Easterby’s Malton, North Yorkshire stables, rode another double during September, taking her seasonal tally to 35 winners, on Broctune Red and Carey Street.
Joanna, who holds a professional jockey’s licence after riding for 14 seasons as one of the country’s top amateur riders, rode her first winner as a professional on Marwari at Newcastle on New Years’ Eve 2020.
“I was born and bred into racing, with my grandad being Mick Easterby – I’ve ridden all my life,” said Joanna, who broke her back in two places in a fall riding in Pointing in 2015.
Joanna, who studied at University with a view to be a Sports Nutritionist, said: “I finished six form and went to University and studied Sport and Exercise Science undergraduate and a Masters in Sports Nutrition.
“After I broke my back riding Pointing in 2015 I decided to just stay on the Flat.
“At the end of 2020, due to Covid-19, I turned professional.
“I broke my back in two places – T8 & T9, unstable fractures, in a fall in 2015.
“After re-hab at Jack Berry House in Malton in recovery – with metal work in my back – I decided I would stick to the Flat.
“Because of Covid last year – and Amateurs unable to ride – I changed my licence. Jack Berry always said I should turn professional – I should have done it sooner.
“But, if I had I wouldn’t have worked for two seasons in Dubai for Charlie Appleby, riding abroad in Martinique, Italy, Germany, Denmark and the USA.”
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