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  • Provincial Racing NSW


THEY were keen rivals on the racetrack – and now work together as a team.

As Sam Clenton has been forced to call time on her riding career, she has taken on a new role as a rider’s agent and managing successful Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons’ bookings is her first assignment.

‘I’m very grateful that Gibbo has given me the opportunity to look after his rides,” Clenton said on Monday morning.

“I will give it 100 per cent to do the very best job I can for him.”

Clenton’s career, which promised so much, unfortunately was punctuated with injuries from falls—one of which at Scone was so serious when she crushed six vertebrae and underwent surgery to have three of them fused and had two metal rods added.

Even now, after a number of further surgeries to attempt to continue riding, she stills suffers back pain whilst doing certain things.

Clenton hasn’t ridden for nearly three years since finishing fourth on Makana at Port Macquarie on May 31, 2021.

She had made a successful comeback on February 16 that year, scoring on Safaris at Scone, after being sidelined since the Cup carnival there the previous May, where she won the Inglis 2YO Challenge on her former boss, leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ The Bopper.

“I spent six or eight months working as a foreperson for Kris, and really enjoyed it,” Clenton said.

“As a mother now of two children, taking on this role is a step in another direction and keeps me involved in racing.

“I’ll start with Andrew and get my bearings for perhaps a couple of months, and then decide whether to expand my management business.”

Clenton’s first ride was on runner-up Twilight Courage for Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn at that track on February 12, 2011, and 10 days later broke through for her first win there on the same mare in an 1100m Maiden.

She rode 356 winners, including 89 in the 2019-20 season, and was the State’s leading apprentice in 2015-16 when she tallied 81 winners.

Clenton rode 72 winners for Lees, and 36 for fellow Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer.

Her first black type victory was on Howmuchdoyouloveme in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens in November 2015, and she also won the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) on him at Gosford early the following year.

Clenton can be contacted for Gibbons’ rides on 0427 464000 or by email at

Story John Curtis, May 13, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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