Steve Pateman, Australia's champion jumps jockey who has become the first rider to win four successive Grand National hurdles is now the final piece to the 'Aussie' puzzle, joining like minded ambassadors of StrideFree. To make up the trio, Steve will be joining Australian champion rider Hugh Bowman and one of Australia's most loved and talented female jockeys Katelyn Mallyon, as the StrideFree jumps ambassador.
With training and schooling horses in multiple countries Steve is surely one of the most talented jumps jockeys Australia has seen in a long time. Dividing his time between the UK, America and Australia among other countries you will see S.Pateman riding among the talents of Ruby Walsh over the hurdles on tracks such as Warrnambool to clearing the timber rales on private estates and famous racetracks across America.
With one of our aims this year to help promote the Australian Jumps Racing season it was only fitting that Steve Pateman was the jockey of choice for the StrideFree brand. We are very humble and grateful to have such an esteemed rider come on board to join the team promoting equine welfare through race and training saddles.
We sat down with Steve to discover what makes him tick, the difference of skills and tempo between riding on the flat and riding over jumps. Discover what this talented horseman hopes to see for the future of jumps racing in Australia.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A RIDING AS PROFESSIONAL JOCKEY?
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START A CAREER OF RIDING RACES?
Always rode started out in showing as my Mother & sister breed & showed ponies then got into eventing. Got a summer holiday job at Lindsay Park for Peter Hayes when I was 16 & never returned home...
HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD THE DESIRE TO RIDE JUMPS OVER FLAT RACING?
First ride in a race was over hurdles don't enjoy riding on the flat.
YOUR MOST MEMORABLE WIN?
First Warrnambool Grand Annual win in 2011 on Al Garhood trained by friend Ciaron Maher & owned by Maher family.
YOU HAVE RIDDEN IN MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, HOW DOES THE JUMPS RACING IN AMERICA, THE UK AND AUSTRALIA DIFFER FROM EACH OTHER?
Ridden in Ireland, UK, America, Czech Republic & NZ. American hurdle racing is similar to Australia however they have 'timber' racing over min 3 miles & over solid timber fences. UK & Ireland race on mostly soft ground from 2 mile to 4 1/2 mile. There traditional hurdles are simlilar size to Australia but there steeplechase fences are a lot bigger & less forgiving than Australian fences.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF JUMPS RACING IN AUSTRALIA?
Leading Irish NH trainer Willie Mullins (Max Dynamite 2nd 2015 Melb Cup) is passionate about a world series for jump racing including Australia. I think this world prove the quality of our top horses & lift the profile of the sport here.
THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND LEAST ENJOYABLE ASPECT OF YOUR JOB?
Winning! Educating horses for jumping. Least - dieting / wasting to make weight.
WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE A YOUNG APPRENTICE JOCKEY LOOKING TO MAKE A CAREER BEING A JUMPS JOCKEY?
Be your own coach. Be self critical & well presented. Watch & copy good jockeys flat & jumps.
DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY CHARM?
StrideFree saddle of course!
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?
My father, Sir AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh, Willie Mullins.
YOU HAVE RIDDEN IN MANY DIFFERENT TRACK WORK AND RACE SADDLES ON MANY DIFFERENT HORSES, WHAT SIGNS DO THE HORSES' GIVE TO SHOW YOU THAT THEY ARE SORE OR STIFF?
From when you first put weight in the saddle horses react. Big striding horses in particular I think are affected by poor fitting saddles.
FROM WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNT FROM PETER ABOUT SADDLES AND HOW THEY SHOULD FIT ON THE HORSES', WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL OPINION ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF THE STRIDEFREE SADDLE?
I believe that a thoroughbreds stride length is so important & the StrideFree allows horses to gallop & even jump with comfort. Half tree or poor fitting saddles have to affect stride length.
OVER THE JUMPS, THE STRIDE OF THE HORSE IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT FOR A SAFE AND SUCCESSFUL RIDE, WHAT IS YOUR METHOD OF RIDING AND HOW DO YOU APPROACH EACH JUMP?
Every horse is different so I ride them all differently. With jump racing rhythm, conserving energy, patience & confidence is most important.
With the StrideFree design you don't need more than one piece of packing which allows you to be closer to the horse. StrideFree are full tree saddles which help the saddles stay in position when jumping.