david mussad

North American Racing Academy Graduate Mussad Preparing For First Race

At the start of 2015, David Mussad had only ridden a horse a few times. Now, he’s entered in his first race as a professional jockey. Mussad will be aboard Brite Sierra in the eighth race at Sacramento on Saturday, hoping to guide the Marcia Stortz trainee to his first victory. Mussad, 27, was one […]

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Inside The North American Racing Academy: Leaving The Nest

It feels like spring in Central Kentucky, as rain soaks the track at the Thoroughbred Center and the fields stubbornly remain green. The aisles of the North American Racing Academy’s Barn 30 are still bustling in the morning, but each week sees fewer and fewer students legging up on horses as the riding students finish […]

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Inside the North American Racing Academy: Final Exams

Early May brings with it warm breezes across the gallop field at the Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Ky. The grass has grown so long that North American Racing Academy executive director Remi Bellocq and the brightly-painted PVC pipes he’s holding dissolve into a green haze as he marches across the expansive field. Bellocq is setting […]

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Inside The North American Racing Academy: Shaking Hands And Shaking Reins

Late into April, the students in the North American Racing Academy’s introductory riding course are starting to adopt the look of professional exercise riders. Their unsteady circles, formerly punctuated by losses of control, have smoothed into rolling canter figure-eights across the gallop field at The Thoroughbred Center. Daily practice has given the group of eight […]

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Inside The North American Racing Academy: Conquering The Butterflies

As the gallop field at the back of the Thoroughbred Center brightens from brown to green, students in the North American Racing Academy’s introductory Racehorse Riding Skills class are also coming to life. A couple of weeks after midterms, it’s clear the students have entered a new phase of their training. They’ve transitioned from jogging […]

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Inside The North American Racing Academy: Warm Ups And Cool Downs

Piloting 1,200 pounds of fire-breathing horseflesh takes more than a gentle hand and good instincts—it requires an athlete. Jockeys are recognized, pound for pound, as some of the strongest professional athletes in all of sports. While tales of Laffit Pincay and his single-peanut diet might stick in the public’s memory, North American Racing Academy executive […]

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Inside The North American Racing Academy: Crashing And Burning

Good horsemen agree that you don’t truly become a rider until you’ve fallen off a few times. At the North American Racing Academy, founder Chris McCarron tells his students that for jockeys it’s not “if” that first (or next) fall will come, it’s “when.” It’s also important, as the old saying goes, to get right […]

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Inside The North American Racing Academy: Only The Strong Will Survive

This week, the Paulick Report launches a new biweekly multimedia series following the students in the North American Racing Academy’s Racehorse Riding Skills class. The class began in mid-January, and by its conclusion in May, students will have gone from learning to properly tack a horse to galloping a Thoroughbred in an open field. We will […]

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