Historic gathering of female jockeys set for April 13
LEXINGTON, KY (March 31, 2014) – Approximately 25 retired and active female jockeys, including those who were first allowed to ride in 1969 and some of the most accomplished members of their profession, will be honored at Keeneland on April 13 as part of Horses and Hope Pink Day.
Keeneland co-hosts Pink Day with Horses and Hope, First Lady Jane Beshear’s initiative to reach women working in Kentucky’s horse industry with education about breast cancer and mammography screening. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to raise breast cancer awareness and purchase a commemorative poster of the female jockeys by noted cartoonist and caricaturist Peb (Pierre Bellocq) that the women will autograph to raise funds for Horses and Hope and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Prior to the races, a special Horses and Hope luncheon for breast cancer survivors and supporters will be held in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. That afternoon, participants will gather in the North Terrace for live music and unique Pink Day activities. Race 6 will be the special Horses and Hope race, and horses will wear pink saddle towels. For more information about Horses and Hope, visit horsesandhope.org.
The jockeys, some of whom are breast cancer survivors, will participate in a question-and-answer session with fans in the Walking Ring that begins at noon. A tribute video about the women will be shown as they are recognized in the Winner’s Circle before race 2, followed by the autograph signing.
“Keeneland is honored to host this historic gathering of female jockeys who have transcended horse racing,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing W.B. Rogers Beasley said. “They include pioneers who faced many obstacles in the pursuit of their riding careers and opened doors that created opportunities for other women. All have been successful due to their courage and determination.”
The women are traveling to Keeneland from across North America and include:
Patti Barton, the first female jockey to win 1,000 races, and her daughter Donna Barton Brothers, the first to ride in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Kaye Bell, who during Keeneland’s 1972 Spring Meet became the first to win a race at the track.
Patricia “PJ” Cooksey, the second woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the first to compete in the Preakness (G1).Andrea Seefeldt Knight, who also rode in both races, is scheduled to attend.
Diane Crump, the first to ride against men and the first to compete in the Kentucky Derby.
Abigail Fuller, who won the 1985 Triple Tiara aboard her father’s homebred Mom’s Command.
Julie Krone, the most successful female jockey in Thoroughbred racing history with 3,704 victories and mount earnings of$90,126,584. Her firsts include winning a Triple Crown race (the 1993 Belmont [G1]); winning a Grade 1 race at Keeneland (1992 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup); and being inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame (2000).
Kathy Kusner, who in October 1968 became the first to be licensed to ride.
Rosie Napravnik, who during Keeneland’s 2013 Fall Meet became the first to be the track’s leading rider. She also has a win in the Breeders’ Cup and is the first to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Tammi Piermarini, who has 2,310 wins as of March 30.
Tami Purcell-Burkland, the first to win Quarter Horse racing’s two most famous races, the All American Futurity (G1) and the Champion of Champions (G1).
Barbara Jo Rubin, the first to win a race at a recognized Thoroughbred track.
Cheryl White, the first African-American female jockey to compete in Thoroughbred racing.