Happy Birthday Mark Lehmann
Published 28 December 2023
I am a great believer in fate. Some things are just destined and meant to happen.
Such was the case today when I noticed on Facebook it was Rockhampton’s Mark Lehmann’s birthday.
I have always been an unadulterated fan of Mark, not just as a retired champion jockey, a brilliant trainer but also as a fine human.
Lone behold just a few minutes after becoming aware that it was his birthday, by chance – no fate, I came across this accompanying article I penned in May 1992.
It is self-explanatory.
Mark Lehmann won his first race ride on a horse called Mondo Prince at his home track Thangool when just 15.
It wouldn’t happen now for one so young with all the rules and regulations in place.
In total, he rode 1060 winners before retiring at just 37 years of age when at his prime.
He was a wonderful example of a committed jockey and advocate of the “three D’s” rule – dedication, desire and determination.
A career long battle with weight, in some ways attributable to his height, it brought about a spartan existence for Mark.
I was fortunate enough to share many victories with him on horses I trained with the likes of Dapper Sunset and Van Maanen readily coming to mind.
On retiring in 2004, Mark took up training on a very limited part-time basis and as expected he proved very successful while maintaining a full-time job in the Callide Valley.
Before then and partly during his jockeying career, wife Kerry, a gifted horsewoman herself, held the training licence preparing 118 winners among them the talented sprinter Iron Jug.
No prizes for guessing Kerry’s jockey of choice when the weight allowed – of course Mark who rode 45 winners for his wife.
As a trainer Mark Lehmann’s top horses included Regal Megan, Tiny Too and Danzamonkey contributing significantly to his 112 winners with over 60 being scored at Callaghan Park racecourse.
During her reign as trainer the record books from Racing and Sports attribute Kerry preparing 118 winners so she has bragging rights there over her husband.
While no longer training Mark Lehmann has not been lost to racing as he now a valuable asset to leading trainer Clinton Taylor for whom among other duties he rides some trackwork.
Clinton is well aware of what I always known, Mark Lehmann is an outstanding “judge” on a horse’s trackwork performance and potential while his assessment of how horses he rode in a race was second to none.
Mark Lehmann, forgive the racing jargon, would never require a tongue tie.
Softly speaking he is economical with words, chooses them carefully before delivering them honestly and precisely.
Concerning all things horse racing, those words are more likely than not – gems.
Mark and Kerry’s son Jordan also plays a pivotal role in the Taylor camp not only with stable duties but also as the tech savvy social media consultant for the trainer.
Jordan head’s off with Clinton and Chinny Boom tonight (Thursday) bound for Doomben where the grand mare contests the LR Magic Millions Mode Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
Look out for the trio in the Doomben enclosure on the SKY RACING Coverage on Saturday.
Happy 56th birthday Mark Lehmann.
Of course, it is only fitting Mark, especially in your case that I sign off with HAPPY HORSES – Tony McMahon.