Ethan and Patrick Mills are Vin’s grandchildren. The next generation have been assisting Vin with Valet duties on raceday and it’s great to see the family tradition continue.
Q & A with Patrick and Ethan Mills.
How did you get involved in and what is your background in racing?
Patrick: I got involved through my grandfather Vincent Mills, who worked for Craig Williams for 10+ years. My family and friends have been in racing for nearly their whole lives, and I was exposed to it from a young age, so naturally I also got involved.
Ethan: I first got introduced into racing by my immediate and extended family. I also had influences from family friends and their past history with racing. My father (Simon Mills) was a jumps jockey for more than 15 years and my uncle (Martin Mills) also rode over jumps, they both rode in very prestigious jumps races in Australia.
Did you ever work in the stables or ride trackwork?
Patrick: I have never worked with horses and have only ever rode on a few occasions in my life.
Ethan: I never officially rode track-work as much I wanted to, but was encouraged and learnt how to ride by Martin and my other uncle (Justin Mills) and grandfather (Vincent Mills).
What is your favourite moment/ achievement you are proud of in racing so far?
Patrick: My favourite moment by far was when Craig won the Melbourne Cup. Yes, I was extremely happy for Craig and I was very proud to work for him, but it was more the affect it had on my grandfather at the time, he had worked for Craig for a long time and had never seen him win The Cup, he was brought to tears when Craig won, and watching the race with my grandfather was one the proudest moments I have.
Ethan: I was very proud and a little emotional for Craig when he won his first Melbourne Cup, I know I’d only been with the ‘Williams team’ for about a year and a half but seeing how Craig had so many chances previously and for him to finally grasp the cup was a heart-warming experience for me to be a part of, in addition to cup day it was such a great moment to have Vinny right there with Craig after the cup and seeing how both of them went through more than 15 years to finally hold the Melbourne Cup together.
Other jobs you have outside of being a Valet?
Patrick: Plumbing part time and selling Soccer merchandise on game days part time.
Ethan: Right now, my main priority is being a valet and getting to as many race meetings as possible to ease any stress off my grandfather so that Damian Oliver and Craig can focus on riding and not handling their race gear. Although I’d love going to more meetings I am completing year 11 which means school comes first but on Friday nights, Saturday’s and Sunday country meetings I am usually available to be a valet.
Learn more about Patrick, Ethan and Vincent and how things work on raceday below: