Apprentice Deanne Panya saddled up to be a star
by: RAY THOMAS From: The Daily Telegraph
JOCKEYS are often described as artists in the saddle but for Deanne Panya the phrase takes on an entirely new meaning.
The emerging young apprentice flays a paintbrush or a pencil as well as the whip, as demonstrated by her stunning portrait of Tommy Berry on Vancouver.
Panya was inspired to put her paintbrush to canvas after seeing a Facebook image of Berry and Vancouver following their Golden Slipper triumph in March.
“I really liked the picture,’’ Panya said. “It was just the way Vancouver had its head turned and Tommy was praying and looking up to the sky.’’
Panya’s riding career is demanding enough but every spare moment she works on her portrait.
“A lot of time goes into a large piece like this and I’ve still got about 10 hours of work left,’’ Panya said.
Panya is a self-taught artist, which is remarkable given the detail and quality of her drawings and paintings. She intends to enter her Berry-Vancouver portrait in the Inglis Art Prize next month.
The 22-year-old is also something of a self-taught jockey too, having virtually stumbled into the sport with her twin sister and fellow apprentice rider, Beany, three years ago.
“We had no background in racing,’’ Panya said. “We had ponies when we were young and would race each other round the oval but we had no idea about the racing industry, track riders or anything. We didn’t even follow racing.’’
The sisters did some racing industry work experience at TAFE and the rest, as they say, is history.
Deanne has three rides at Kembla Grange on Saturday, which brings her career total to exactly 500 race rides for 34 winners. Beany has two rides at a non-TAB meeting at Young as she tries to add to her 11 career winners.
Deanne Panya, who is apprenticed to Theresa Bateup at Kembla Grange and has recently begun riding trackwork for Gai Waterhouse at Randwick each Friday, rides Cloverdale (race 2), Arrows Destiny (race 3) and Magical Musician (race 4) at the provincial meeting.