Michelle Payne's beautiful brother Stevie, her "blessing".

Australia’s first female Melbourne Cup winner Michelle Payne has tonight paid a beautiful tribute to her brother Stevie on The Project.

Stevie Payne shot to national stardom today after being the strapper for his sister Michelle Payne.  He was responsible for drawing Prince of Penzance’s number one barrier position, and correctly predicting the horse would be “in front at 200 metres [to go]”.

michelle payne brother stevie
Stevie the strapper (Image: Channel 7)

In a gracious and humble interview, Michelle said her brother Stevie, who has down syndrome, was “a blessing to our family” 

“Stevie is beautiful… Stevie has down syndrome obviously. There is not a bad bone in Stevie’s body.”

“It was so nice to be able to share that with him today.”

“My charity that I am donating to is called Down Syndrome Australia.”


Michelle also spoke of the enormous challenges she has overcome in her life to make it to the Melbourne Cup.

She fractured her skull ten years ago while riding and it seemed she may never race again, however she got back on the horse.

“My life just stopped…the horse speared me head first. It was just a minor hiccup,” she told The Project.

“I got back within seven months and I’m just so happy. I am so lucky.”

We are so happy for you and your beautiful family Michelle and Stevie. You have done us all proud.

Cup winner Michelle Payne and brother Stevie Payne
Stevie and Michelle (Image: Channel 7)