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Aug 18

Gem in racing’s crown: Ambassador role a winner for Mildura’s Cup Day meeting

MILDURA’S face of racing, Gemma Lehmann, is excited to be the official ambassador on the biggest day of racing at the Sandilong track.
Nanjing Night Net

Ambassador: Gemma Lehmann relaxes this week ahead of her role as the face of racing at today’s Mildura Melbourne Cup Day meeting at Sandilong Park. Picture: John Anderson

Gemma, 18, who has been juggling her VCE final exams with her racing ambassador role, said she’s kept up with her studies and her photo shoots over the past few weeks “without any hassles”.

“It’s been an honour to be asked to take on the role of racing ambassador to promote the local racing industry,” Gemma said.

“I’ve always loved the fashions on the field, and the different style and colour that each year brings.

“This year I’m looking forward to seeing the floral designs and the pastel colours that have been so popular.”

The dictionary definition of “ambassador” is “an official messenger on a special mission”, and young Gemma is perfect for the role.

“I believe my mission is really to promote Mildura Melbourne Cup Day as the biggest social event on Mildura’s racing calendar,” Gemma said.

“On Cup day I’ll be greeting gold marquee racegoers as well as assisting with the fashions on the field judging before the big race.

“Being trackside at Sandilong Park on Melbourne Cup Day today is what my role is all about.

“I’ll be dressed by Q Central and my hair and make-up will be by Cascade.

“My fascinator has been designed by 21 year-old Kirsty Schilling, an up-and-coming milliner who has been designing and making her pieces since she was 14.”

Gemma describes herself as a “country girl”, having spent her early years in Birchip in north central Victoria, before her Mum Kylie, Dad, Owen and older brother Jordan moved to settle in Mildura in 2000.

Although she loves horses, the closest she’s been to the horse racing industry is having a great grandfather who was a racetrack bookmaker.

“My first experience with thoroughbred racing was when my Pop took me to the Wycheproof races and asked me to select a horse number for him to place a bet on.

“My favourite number is 11, and as it happened, it won the race and my piggy bank was a lot healthier.”

Gemma said she hasn’t ever had a bet on a horse race and thinks today may be the time to have her first “flutter”.

“I might test my luck on a race before the cup is run at 3pm, and then have a small wager on the big race.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.