Alana Williams has flown the flag for women in racing for many years, as a talented jockey, leading trainer and mentor.
Williams, originally known as Alana Sansom, has been in racing for over 20 years and has become a role model for younger women looking to make their way in the industry.
As a jockey, she was talented, fearless, passionate, and so determined to succeed, that failure was never an option.
With her parents wanting her to finish school rather than become a jockey, that motivation was always in the back of her mind to continually work hard.
Once given the opportunity she never looked back, she rode track work in the morning, was seen on the mechanical horse regularly and continued to run to keep her fitness levels high.
Her aim was to always mix it with the best male jockeys in the state and she did that regularly, riding 436 winners at 8 per-cent, highlighted by two Group 2 victories, four Group 3 victories and nineteen listed winners.
Wanting to start her own family, Alana sat in the saddle for the final time in 2009, deciding that Derby Day at Ascot would be her final race day as a jockey.
That week she rode The Slam to victory on the Wednesday for David Casey and then rode in the Group 1 WATC Derby for trainer David Harrison who had played a vital role in her career.
Following the birth of her daughter Tahni, Alana was straight back to work, helping her husband Grant with their training operation and back doing what she loves, riding horses.
Alana has always been an integral part of the Williams team success, with Grant mentioning on multiple occasions post-race that he couldn’t do it without her.
In 2016 the couple formed a partnership and the success was immediate, they won the metropolitan premiership that year.
Since then they haven’t looked back, winning Group 1’s in multiple states, trainer premierships and continuing to raise the bar when it comes to a successful training operation.
Alana’s ability to ride the horses each morning, feel how they are going and provide the most accurate feedback to Grant has been a vital reason why they’ve continued to have regular success.
Alana’s feedback has been sought after by many, including other jockeys coming through the ranks who see her experience as vital.
Those jockeys have reported that Alana is always generous with her time and always wanting to go the extra mile to help.
The same work ethics that she had as a jockey and even now as a trainer, is the key advice that she tries to pass on to those that are trying to improve.
As we head towards International Women’s Day, we thank Alana Williams for her continual contribution to our industry, for her continual success, and we wish her all the best as she sets new goals for the future.