Riding thoroughbreds for a living wasn’t a first career option for Madi Derrick, but ask her now and she is itching to get in the saddle and make her riding debut.

And the former equestrian rider won’t have long to wait with Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) stewards granting her a license to ride on Monday.

Five years after commencing work with host trainer Tiarnna Robertson and two months after she took part in her first trial, Derrick makes her riding debut at Geraldton on Sunday.

Despite being around horses from birth, joining the WA racing industry as a jockey was far from a childhood ambition for Derrick.

“I come from a horsey background, but not racing,” Derrick told The Races WA.

“I’ve done eventing all my life.

“I haven’t always thought about being a jockey.

“It’s not the way I have been brought up.

“But since working in the stable the racing industry it’s where I wanted to go.

“That’s why I registered to become an apprentice.

“It’s moving forward quite quickly and it’s very exciting.

“I’m ready to get going.”

Derrick is out to create her own stamp as a rider, but hopes to follow a similar path to boom apprentice, Jade McNaught.

Like Derrick, McNaught also rode track work and was mentored by Robertson before she launched her career at Albany.

Last year McNaught created WA racing history when she became the first apprentice to boot home six winners at a Perth meeting.

“I watch Jade McNaught a lot and I get along well with Jerry Noske,” Derrick said.

“It’s good to follow in those footsteps.

“Definitely Jade is a good one to follow.”

Although nervous, excited and apprehensive in the build-up to her first ride, Derrick says she will try and keep her week as normal as possible.

“I have track work all week and will try and get myself prepared mentally and physically,” Derrick said.

“There is definitely some nerves, but I will try and handle it as best as I can.”

Julio Santarelli