Girls Rule At Turf Paradise, Where Female Jockey Colony Is Strong

by | 02.16.2017 | 6:57pm
Turf Paradise racetrack in Phoenix, Ariz.

Although most jockeys' rooms around the United States are male-dominated, a recent article at Cronkite News observes that Turf Paradise has become a comparative haven for female riders. While 10 percent of licensed American jockeys are women, about 20 percent of Turf Paradise's riders are female.

Jockey Natasha Coddington said the track has a reputation outside its gates as being someplace female jockeys can get a fair start. Although the sport is becoming more equal opportunity for young women, Coddington acknowledges it's still not an easy sport to break into.

“You have to be really strong-willed, and be able to take a lot of criticism,” Coddington said. “It's hard for some women to take it.”

Turf Paradise recently hosted an autograph-signing event for its female riders, which included jockeys ranging in age from a 16-year-old apprentice to 43-year-old Vanessa Romberg, who just became licensed in Mexico City a year and a half ago.

Read more at Cronkite News

  • A penny for your thoughts

    That’s a photo from Penn National, not Turf Paradise.

    • Deb Curtis Olivas

      Funny , it says Turf Paradise on the tote board and infield .

    • Charles Smith

      I’ve been to Penn National…..I don’t recall seeing any palm trees there.

    • Eric

      I saw what APFYT saw – they must have updated the original pic, which showed 4 jockeys (some of whom do not winter at TuP) in the paddock at Penn National.

    • anonymous

      I’m really confused as to why Chelsea Keiser was in the original picture in the first place. She’s never ridden at Turf Paradise. Very bad reporting.

  • Kevin Callinan

    Fake news, only one in the picture to race there is Coddington

  • Lisa Johnson

    If you wanted to really write a story about women in the industry, dig a little deeper and see who’s a steward, a racing secretary, placing judge, paddock judge, veterinarian etc…there’s LOTS more to tell than this. There is a ton of history, lots of odds to overcome, lots of strife, suffering, being belittled and denied, a TON of talent and perseverance! And I’m all for women in this business!!

    • I think several thousand ton of un taped underutilized talent.

  • longtimehorsewoman

    That is great to hear!

  • Sandy

    Great start to an article…wish there had been more!

  • cmwilliamsd

    Been in the industry for 43 years. Can’t remember it ever being easy. They eat their young on the backside;

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