As one of Australia’s most prominent equestrian and media personalities, Jo McKinnon loves nothing more than the excitement and spirit of country racing and announced she is honoured to continue as Carlton Mid Cairns Amateurs’ Carnival Ambassador for a second year. This follows this week’s launch of her documentary series ‘A Racetrack Somewhere’ on Racing.com.
With plans underway for this year’s two-day Carnival on 9 and 10 September, Cairns Amateurs CEO, Graham Thornton said he was thrilled to secure Jo McKinnon’s continued involvement following last year’s success and the part she played in bringing awareness of the Carnival to a nationwide audience.
“Up until now we have changed our Ambassador annually but we felt that Jo’s success in framing racing for the general public, and women in particular, was such a great fit to our
spring fashion and racing event that it made perfect sense to form an enduring partnership. We are optimistic that with Jo’s assistance and expertise, our Carnival is well placed to reach its aim of cementing its place as Australia’s premier country race event.”
“Jo’s wealth of experience within the racing industries both in Australia and overseas as a media personality and on-air race presenter at some of the country’s biggest meets is outstanding. Added to that, she is a passionate horsewoman and with excellent communication skills, has proven already she can do the job of promoting Cairns Amateurs in the integral Ambassador’s role,” said Mr Thornton.
As 2016 Cairns Amateurs Carnival Ambassador, Ms McKinnon will attend race days and events including the Ladies Fashion High Tea, as well as joining the judging panel for Fashions of the Field.
Known for bringing the colour and stories of horse racing to the public eye, seasoned TV presenter Ms McKinnon believes carnivals such as Cairns Amateurs hold a special place in Australian culture, and are as much about the off-field characters as they are about the on-field action.
“I am so pleased to return to Cairns and be a part of this iconic event. Racing is so much more than sport and waging bets, it is about the people that make it happen and those that come together from near and far to enjoy what is a wonderfully rich spectacle and celebration,” said Ms McKinnon.
Growing up on a horse property near Yarra Valley in Victoria, Ms McKinnon set her sights on a career in equine media from an early age.
A former sports reporter who has also held senior marketing roles within the racing industry both here and overseas, Ms McKinnon is known by many for her on-air national race day coverage for Sky Channel.
She is currently managing director of Jo McKinnon Media and a presenter/producer on Racing Live on Channel 78 in Victoria.
Ms McKinnon is also an accomplished horsewoman who won many equestrian events across
Australia in her days as a competitive rider.
Cairns Amateurs Carnival will be held from Thursday 8 September to Saturday 10 September at Cannon Park Race Course, Cairns. For more information www.cairnsamateurs.org.au
About Jo McKinnon
Jo McKinnon grew up in Victoria, where she was a competition rider from early childhood and won major equestrian events across Australia.
She began her media career at Herald and Weekly Times, and spent three years working on Herald Sun, Weekly Times, Sunday Herald Sun and Sporting Globe newspapers in various departments including police rounds, daily news, features, sport and racing.
Ms McKinnon then ventured into commercial television after as a sports reporter with Network Ten, later joining Sky Racing as the first female anchor of racing on Pay TV, covering racing at tracks all over Australia beside her role as the main presenter at the track for Sydney racing. She was a member of the Racing Retro panel alongside John Tapp and Graeme McNiece, presenter of Bred to Win and the face of Australian racing coverage into the US. From there, Ms McKinnon ventured into high level racing administration with MVRC and Aushorse. She has served as a presenter in Hong Kong, and this month launched her documentary series, A Racetrack Somewhere on Racing.com.