Graduating Class of Jockeys Packed with Girl Power

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Students at the North American Racing Academy learn balance on equicizers (Photo David Stephenson) Students at the North American Racing Academy learn balance on equicizers (Photo David Stephenson)

Nightline cameras recently took a tour of the North American Racing Academy, where the senior class of 12 (11 of whom are female) is preparing to graduate. The women face long odds, as Nightline notes only 10 percent of licensed jockeys are female, just two of whom are on the list of the top 100 riders in the country.

“No princesses,” summarized Marissa Yetter. “You’ve got to be one of the guys.”

In addition to the gender gap, ABC reported on the risk of injury that the students will have to overcome to reach their goals.

“[Racing] is a lot more dangerous than NASCAR, or parachuting, or sky diving,” said NARA founder Chris McCarron. “I think if you talk to any kind of accident insurance provider, they would agree.”

Yetter said she doesn’t worry—for her, the experience is worth the obstacles.

“When you’re on that horse, they’re running for you, and you can feel that. And they love it.”

Read more at ABC News
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  • Sandra Warren

    I was just thinking on Belmont Day that I hadn’t heard anything about the NARA for a long time. Thanks for the update.

  • Evelyn Waugh

    That was a first-rate bit of broadcast journalism.

    Very much enjoyed listening to Chris McCaron.

    As for the male student: Good luck. It may have taken Chris McCaron only 3 years to learn to gallop & race-ride a Thoroughbred but I very much doubt he was as acutely awkward in the saddle as is this young man.

  • Francis Bush

    McCarron deserves the best. He always seems to be at the top of his game. Congratulations. I have followed your direction for years.

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