Great women in the sport of kings: America's top women by Scooter Toby Davidson, Valerie Anthony

By Scooter Toby Davidson, Valerie Anthony

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Extra info for Great women in the sport of kings: America's top women jockeys tell their stories

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I find myself glued to the television, watching the first race. As the horses come out of the saddling paddock for the post parade, I start to think about how alive I felt when I came out to parade my mounts during this introduction of horse flesh to the betting crowd. " because some of the horses are acting up. In a fleeting instant there is a moment of silence, then the bell sounds, the gates swing back, and they're off. As I watch these beautiful animals and their riders jockey for position, my heart starts to pound, and my mind begins to remember the days of old when I rode these gallant animals to victory.

The initial spotlight of publicity dimmed, and they were left to the same career difficulties as other jockeys: practicing, traveling, making weight, winning, losing, and above all, hustling mounts. 22 But like all elite athletes, female jockeys are very talented physically. They must have legs as strong as soccer players, hands with the firm control yet soft touch of golfers, and the balance and flexibility of gymnasts. They are coordinated, have quick reflexes, and must be in great physical condition to have the endurance necessary to push a tiring horse the final eighth of a mile.

13 "Kathy Krusner Faces New Hurdle," New York Times, Nov. '" New York Times, Feb. 9, 1968, p. 60; "Miss Kusner Loses Again in Bid for Jockey Licence," New York Times, Apr. 28, 1968, sec. 5, p. 8; "Woman Jockey, Puts Off Debut," New York Times, Nov, 17, 1968, sec. 5, p. 10; "Jockey's Aid Warns of Hazards to Women," New York Times, Nov. 27, 1968, p. 58. 14 Steve Cady, "Girl Jockeys Are Invading the Big A," New York Times, Mar. 11, 1969, p. 52. 15 Sometimes male jockeys harassed the women verbally, or committed fouls intended to scare their mounts.

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