Chasing Her Dream: Retired INS Agent Pursues Lifelong Dream Of Becoming A Jockey

by | 09.12.2017 | 11:19am
Aspiring jockeys at the North American Racing Academy work out on equicizers (Photo David Stephenson)

Stefanie Vetter has loved horses since she was a child, and she had always dreamed of becoming a jockey. Her career path did not take her anywhere near a racing oval, however.

Instead, Vetter went to work for the federal government, retiring two years ago from her job as a special agent for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Now at the age of 52, she is finally pursuing her ‘racing' dream.

In a recent feature for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Maryjean Wall profiles Vetter, who – along with her two children and two horses – made the long journey from Anchorage, Alaska, to Lexington, Ky., where she enrolled in the North American Racing Academy. She is now in her final semester of the two-year course offered on how to become a jockey.

“Even after a year I say, ‘I'm actually here. I can't believe this,'” Vetter told the Herald-Leader. “There are times I ask myself, ‘Am I being foolish?' My family says, ‘Don't you quit. You keep doing this.'”

Read more in the Lexington Herald-Leader

  • Mindy

    at age 52?

    • Blue Larkspur

      Not something I recommend, either ! Perhaps some low level eventing would satisfy her need for equine speed …

      • Mindy

        and thrills and danger…hey, pair her up with an OTTB!

    • lastromantribune

      my thoughts exactly…but who are we to stifle a dream ?….go for it lady. check off that bucket list.

  • Mindy

    “Her career path did not take her anywhere near a racing oval, however.”
    really? you’d think she could’ve cleaned up in arrests, if she had, it’s what’s called a ‘target-rich environment’

  • really

    A mother who thrusts herself into harms way at the age of 52 should possibly reassess her priorities. Any job where they follow you around with an ambulance isn’t for 52 yr old beginners, sorry/

    • Guest

      Do you realize how sexist that remark sounds? Don’t any male jockeys have children? I guess you feel that male jockeys don’t make their children a priority?

      • lastromantribune

        you realize how sexist that remark sounds…..so what ?….women are the primary caregivers to children no matter what you say. not always but mostly.. but at 52 her kids are probably adults so she should follow her dream. lets hope she does not find out the hard way that it is a very dangerous profession.

    • lastromntribune

      nothing to be sorry about. it is all true what you stated

  • MudBug

    Age is just a number. She looks fit, has a tough mind and the passion! Good Luck Stefanie!

  • MudBug

    one more thing……… pick up your reins and keep the horses head picked up!

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