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1992 Telecom National Business Directory Golden Horseshoe awarded to Gai Waterhouse

1998.0001.0001

1992 Telecom National Business Directory Golden Horseshoe awarded to Gai Waterhouse

Object information

Physical description

A gold-coloured cast metal trophy in the form of a horseshoe mounted on top of a stylised horse's hoof, on a square wooden base with bevelled sides. The horseshoe is in the toe-down position and it has a small representation of a riding crop diagonally across it. '1992 / TELECOM NATIONAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY / GOLDEN HORSEHOE / GAI WATERHOUSE' is engraved in a plaque attached to the side of the base. The back of the trophy bears the maker's stamp 'Rocca'.

Statement of significance

The Gai Waterhouse collection comprises a gold-coloured cast metal trophy in the form of a horseshoe mounted on top of a stylised horse's hoof, on a square wooden base with bevelled sides. The horseshoe is in the toe-down position and it has a small representation of a riding crop diagonally across it. "1992 / TELECOM NATIONAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY / GOLDEN HORSEHOE / GAI WATERHOUSE" is engraved in a plaque attached to the side of the base. The back of the trophy bears the maker's stamp "Rocca".
Born 2 September 1954, Gai Waterhouse is one of Australia's leading horse trainers. She served her apprenticeship under her father, the late T.J. Smith. She obtained her trainer's licence in 1992 after a protracted battle with the Australian Jockey Club. She challenged the rule, current at the time, that the spouse of a "warned off" or banned individual was ineligible to obtain a licence. Her husband, bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, had been warned off in 1984. During her first year as a trainer, she came seventh in the Sydney trainer's premiership and third in the prize money, a statistic that underlined her ability to pick the best races for her owners as well as her willingness to start horses at provincial meetings. During the year she had her first Group 1 success when Te Akau Nick won the Sydney Metropolitan and first Group 3 success when Moods won the Gosford Gold Cup. The Telecom National Business Directory Golden Horsehoe was awarded to her in recognition of these achievements.

Women with Attitude collection and exhibition:
This object is part of the Women with Attitude collections. In 1995 twenty-four Australian women were asked by the Museum to identify one object that was symbolic of their life in the political arena for inclusion in the travelling exhibition Women with Attitude: 100 years of political action. The objects made up a section entitled "Individuals with Attitude" which linked the historical sections of the exhibition with the future. Together the objects provide a significant if quirky record on Australian women in 1995 and their priorities and mementoes. The intention of the curator, Marion Stell, was to have this group of women link the historical sections of the exhibition with the future without imposing didactic text. The intention was to achieve a range of perspectives - political persuasions, ages, races, styles, familiarity, occupations and backgrounds.
Because many of the women were well-known, they had experience in being portrayed by the medial. Part of the politics of the exhibition was to allow each woman to choose one object, to write up to 250 words and provide her own image. This was thought to give them some kind of 'control' over their own image. An exhibition, just like the media, can distort the image that we as individuals wish to portray.
The women were presented in alphabetical order and photographs and text were delivered in a purple wash of standard size. As a result coloured photographs had no advantage over black and white or large over small. The objective was to afford each woman equality.
The exhibition opened in Canberra on 8 March 1995 and toured to Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart closing on 8 May 1997. At the end of the two-year exhibition and tour, each woman was contacted and asked if she would be prepared to donate the object to the Museum.

The following text accompanied Gai Waterhouse's object and photograph in Women with Attitude:

Gai Waterhouse The horse racing game has generally been regarded as man's world, that is until Gai Waterhouse stepped in.

Gai Waterhouse has made her mark both nationally and internationally as the woman who changed the face of Australian racing. Her bitter battles with Committee of the Australian Jockey Club saw her victorious in the Court of Appeal in her determination to obtain her licence to train horses. That even was seen by many as a landmark decision for working women, justifying a woman's own rights to a career and enforcing the fact that she is not simply an appendage of her husband.

While her success as a horse trainer and as a leader of women in the field of men flourishes, she still has time for two children, a husband, a home and a dog. Gai Waterhouse is a woman of substance full of endless energy for her family, friends, career and the future of racing."

Object information

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