Ashley Broussard said that after her first year on the track, people were already encouraging her to ride races. As much as she loves riding Thoroughbreds, the exercise rider told them she wanted more experience first.
“I want to wait until I'm good. I want to wait until I know I'm ready to ride versus just being a girl who could hang on,” Broussard told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Broussard started riding with her parents before she could walk, and spent much of her early saddle time aboard Quarter Horses racing barrels. As a teenager, she decided a 15-second barrel run was just too slow, and turned her attention to racehorses.
“I used to gallop my barrel horses in an exercise saddle, just to get the feel of it,” said Broussard, 20. “Then one day my dad took me to the track, and I saw the difference. I went to the races a few times when I was little, but my parents kept me away from it as much as they could. They knew I liked the speed.”
Broussard works under the advisement of other veteran jockeys, as well as agent Fred Aime and outrider Kenny Lavergne. Rosie Napravnik has taken Broussard under her wing, coaching her on her position and handicapping skills. It seems everyone Broussard has worked for is convinced that once she gets a leg up in the afternoon, she will be one to watch.
At under five feet, she isn't worried about making weight—just being strong enough to take a horse from starting gate to finish line, and catching that elusive big break aboard the right horse.
Read more at the Louisville Courier-Journal
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