The youngest daughter of the eleven children of Paddy and Mary, Payne grew up on a farm at Miners Rest, a locality near Ballarat in central Victoria. Mary died in a motor vehicle accident when Michelle was six months old, leaving Paddy to raise the children as a single father. Payne entered racing aged 15, the eighth of the Payne children to do so.
She won in her first race at Ballarat, aboard Reigning—a horse trained by her father.
In March 2004, Payne fell heavily at a race in Sandown Racecourse in Melbourne, fracturing her skull and bruising her brain. As a result of her prolonged recovery period—including a further fall where she fractured her wrist—Payne was granted a three month extension to her apprenticeship, to allow her time to ride out her claim.
Payne won her first Group One race, the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse aboard Allez Wonder on 10 October 2009 and trainer Bart Cummings offered her the ride at the Caulfield Cup the following week. Payne will be only the third female jockey to ride in the Caulfield Cup, one of Australia's most prestigious races.
- ↑ Eddy, Andrew (29 September 2009). "Payne gets El of a birthday surprise". The Age (Fairfax). http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/horse-racing/payne-gets-el-of-a-birthday-surprise/2009/09/29/1253989912334.html. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hanlon, Peter (17 October 2009). "Passion & Payne". The Age (Fairfax). http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/horse-racing/2009/10/16/1255624734411.htmll. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- ↑ Cormick, Brendan (17 October 2009). "Wonder woman Michelle Payne rides to forget pain of the past". The Australian (News Limited). http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26220585-5013406,00.html. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- ↑ Eddy, Andrew (15 July 2005). "A life of pleasure and Payne". The Age (Fairfax). http://www.theage.com.au/news/horse-racing/a-life-of-pleasure-and-payne/2005/07/14/1120934358479.html. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- ↑ Stewart, Matt (17 October 2009). "The wonder of Michelle Payne". Herald Sun (News Limited). http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/the-wonder-of-michelle-payne/story-e6frf9if-1225787742149. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- ↑ "Shocking Truth is Flemington on a Tuesdays no place for learners", Max Presnell article, Sydney Morning Herald, November 3, 2009 
- Kneebone, Tony (1996). The Paynes : the struggle, the pain, the glory. Melbourne: Winning Post. http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an12595437.