Saratoga will see its first ever female steward during the upcoming meet as 27-year-old Erinn Higgins takes the stand. Higgins told America's Best Racing that to her knowledge, she is the first female steward at any NYRA racetrack, though not the state–Martha Oberlies worked at Finger Lakes in the 1970s.
Higgins grew up assisting her father, trainer Bill Higgins and served as a hotwalker for trainer W.C. Freeman. She said she always planned to make her career on the racetrack, and took a chance when a job opening came up for an assistant to the steward position at Finger Lakes. Higgins moved there, not knowing anyone and not sure what to expect from the job.
Higgins has since earned her Racing Officials Accreditation Program seal of approval at the University of Louisville, and has been a full-fledged steward for the New York State Gaming Commission this fall at Belmont.
Higgins said her experience has taught her to accept learning opportunities when they come her way.
“The best advice I can give is take any opportunity you are given,” she said. “You never know what an opportunity may lead to or who you are going to meet. Also, the small racetracks are just as rewarding as the big ones. In my opinion, it isn't always about the glitz and glam, it is about being a part of a great industry.”
Read more at America's Best Racing
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