Four talented women of the Western Australian thoroughbred racing community have been celebrated at the 2022 Ladies of Racing Awards.

Around 100 attendees gathered to highlight women’s achievements in the following categories: Leadership, welfare, dedication to thoroughbred racing and administration.

Top WA trainer and former ground-breaking woman jockey Paula Wagg won this year’s leadership award.

An inductee in Western Australia’s Women’s Hall of Fame, Paula was also recognised with an Order of Australia medal in the Australia Day Honours list for her outstanding service to the WA racing industry.

A trailblazer during her time in the saddle, Paula fought for equality and paved the way for female jockeys to make their mark on the track throughout Australia, competing and winning against male jockeys many times.

The thoroughbred welfare award went to Natasha Barbarich for her dedication to rehoming equine athletes.

Having had horses since she was a child, Natasha started her journey in the racing world around five years ago where she found her passion for retraining and rehoming racehorses moving into retirement.

Currently working as a strapper for one of the state’s leading trainers, Chris Gangemi, Natasha leaves her door open to all horses and remains passionate for finding them new homes when they move on from the track.

Charlotte Geoghegan received the administration award for her efforts in steering the Magic Millions to record-breaking sales and managing construction of their new sales auditorium in the Swan Valley in 2019.

Charlotte’s passion and support for the industry goes further than the management of Magic Millions and is reflected through her unwavering support of the industry.

In 2021, when the Perth Hills area suffered catastrophic bushfires, Charlotte and her team opened the doors of the Magic Millions complex to rescue more than 300 horses and other animals.

Wagin-based Angela Smith was awarded for her dedication to thoroughbred racing, having spent many years on the metropolitan and regional racing circuits of the state.

Hailing from New Zealand, Angela started her racing career as an apprentice jockey and built up to a phenomenal training career, which includes a momentous win in the 1997 Perth Cup with Time Frame.

RWWA Head of Racing Operations David Hunter said he was proud to have been in attendance to recognise the four women for their contributions to thoroughbred racing.

“Today we celebrated the outstanding contribution of women in WA thoroughbred racing,” David said.

“We are proud to have a racing community full of talented and dedicated women who continue to excel and perform as outstanding role models.

“I congratulate all the winners and nominees of today’s awards”.

The Ladies of Racing Awards were held at Frasers, Kings Park.