The racing industry across NSW is mourning one of its pioneers after it was announced legendary female trainer Betty Lane OAM passed away earlier this week.
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Starting her career at Geurie in 1962, Lane and her late-husband Tiger Holland were a powerful duo, winning three Western District Premierships before heading to the city.
After obtaining a Metropolitan Trainer's license at Randwick, Lane quickly rose through the ranks by training several winners.
In 1983, Lane was the first female trainer to receive a number 1 license at Randwick with only Gai Waterhouse being the other female to be given the honour.
Throughout her legendary career, the trainer prepared more than 1,000 winners alongside Holland.
Kylie Kennedy is just one of the female trainers in the Western District continuing on Lane's legacy.
"She fought so hard to get a trainer's license and she led the way for female trainers," Kennedy said of Lane.
Racing nowadays is still a largely male-dominated industry but the likes of Waterhouse and Annabel Neasham among others are flying the flag for women.
In an occupation where the majority of her colleagues/competitors are male, Kennedy said she was fortunate to learn about what goes on fairly young.
"I actually find it pretty easy, a lot of owners and trainers like that girl touch, some horses are a bit quirky," she said.
"They would rather send them to a female so they can be a bit more gentle and more attentive.
"Even at the moment I pre-train a few for Clint Lundholm and I have a handful that stay out here because they settle out here.
"I was brought up in the industry so it's not like I had to step in and make a name. I was born into it so I think it was a bit easier for me rather than someone who just pops up and wants to be a trainer, I think that would be a bit harder."
Meanwhile, tributes for Lane have come in from other identities in the racing world.
"We are saddened to hear of Betty Lane's passing - Betty was a groundbreaker in the racing industry and by becoming Sydney's first licensed female trainer she laid a foundation for future generations," said Racing NSW's Acting Chief Executive, Mr Graeme Hinton.
"Betty was highly respected throughout the industry and a mentor to the many women who followed her into the training ranks, including legendary trainer Gai Waterhouse. We pass on our sincere condolences to Betty's family and friends."
At the Kensington meeting on October 25, the second race of the day will named in honour of Lane.
She will be laid to rest beside Holland at St Jude's Anglican Church in Randwick.
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