First female jockey to beat men in a race in Australia has NZ Ryman village named after her

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Pioneering jockey Linda Jones MBE, the first female jockey to win against men in Australia, flew from her home in Queensland to officially open Ryman Healthcare’s new retirement village in New Zealand.

The NZD$260 million Linda Jones Retirement Village in Hamilton, in the Waikato region on New Zealand’s North Island, has more than 330 residents across both townhouses and apartments.

Linda Jones (pictured with Ryman Group Chief Executive Richard Umbers), the first woman to be inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame, officially opened the village last Thursday 30 June on the 45th anniversary of her winning the right to race against men.

“I’m very proud of it – I still can’t quite believe it. It’s a beautiful complex and it turns out I know some of the residents – and I know how much people enjoy living here and what the staff do for them. It’s an unreal feeling, I still have to pinch myself,” she said.

According to Richard, it was an honour to name the village after Linda, and several of the buildings are named after her favourite winning horses.

“Linda stands out as a trailblazer for women, a brave and fierce competitor in a tough sport. She’s a New Zealand icon whose career was forged in this region and we’re incredibly proud to have her name on this village,” he said.

Ryman is also continuing its expansion into Australia with a new AUD$180 million village in Highett, Victoria, announced last month.