19 April 2024

Kayla Nisbet hangs up her saddle and picks up the mic

| Jacqueline Lyons
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Kayla Nisbet on the Thoroughbred Park track with a horse

Jockey Kayla Nisbet at Thoroughbred Park with her father John Nisbet’s horse, Dollythediva. Photo: Thoroughbred Park.

After more than 13 years as a professional jockey, with nearly 600 victories under her belt, Kayla Nisbet has announced her retirement.

The 29-year-old is going out on a high after what she believes to be her greatest achievement just weeks ago – winning the Country Racing Championships title at Randwick.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was an absolute thrill and it felt like the perfect way to top off my career,” Kayla says.

“I’ve won a couple of premierships and local country cups over the years but absolutely nothing compares to walking away with that victory.”

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Now, Kayla is looking to start a new career at Sky Racing where she is gearing up to join a team of presenters and form analysts to report on the sport she loves the most.

“I got the offer nearly a year ago and wasn’t quite sure if I was ready to retire just yet,” she says. “But since then I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and it really just felt like the next logical step.”

Sky Racing and international media general manager Adam Brownlee says he can’t wait for Kayla to join the team.

“We are thrilled Kayla has accepted the role to join our team at Sky Racing,” Adam says.

Kayla Nisbet in the saddle

Kayla Nisbet has been racing since she was 13. Photo: Supplied.

“Kayla brings a wealth of knowledge, and unique insights to our team.

“We congratulate her on a stellar career in the saddle and look forward to welcoming her on air in a few weeks.”

Kayla says she is getting more and more excited as the first day of her next career edges closer.

“I’ve been in the racing industry my whole life, and I’m looking forward to bringing my extensive knowledge of racing to customers in my new role.”

As rider of title-winning galloper Asgarda for most of his racing career, Kayla says she is grateful for the opportunity.

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“I have been training closely with Doug Gorrel for years and I’m thrilled he’s kept me riding Asgarda for as long as I could,” she says.

“I have loved training with South East Racing Association and the Southern Districts Racing Association for as long as I have and I can’t wait to share my knowledge and experience with them with a wider audience.”

Kayla Nisbet gets interviewed after a win.

Rob Tweedie interviews senior jockey Kayla Nisbet after a win. Photo: Elka Wood.

Adam says Kayla’s local expertise is going to make her a great asset to the team.

“She knows the region so well and has ridden many of the horses, so she’ll be able to give punters a different and exciting insight,” he says.

Kayla will take her final ride on Asgarda at the Wagga Gold Cup race day on 2 May.

“I think I will miss racing a little bit but I can’t wait to take this next step and stay in the industry just in a different way,” she says.

Kayla will contribute to Sky Racing, Sky Thoroughbred Central, Sky Sports Radio, RadioTAB, and Sky/TAB digital platforms from 6 May.

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