Brilliant Women In US Horse Racing History

Horse racing is hugely popular in the United States just as it is in the United Kingdom. If the Britishers revel in free bets for Aintree Grand National, the Americans enjoy the brilliant spectacle of Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, etc.

But in both the US and UK, the horse racing world is largely male-dominated. Although that is not to say there haven’t been women who have contributed to the sport of kings.

Below we have listed some of the brilliant women who have played a key role in shaping this sport.

1- Laska Durnell

Laska Durnell became very famous for being the first woman in history to own a Kentucky Derby starter and winner with Elwood. Durnell entered the horse in the 1904 edition of the prestigious race without her husband’s knowledge. It proved to be a good decision as Elwood won the 1904 Kentucky Derby at 15-1 odds, defeating the favourite horse Proceeds in the process. That is considered as one of the greatest upsets in the history of the race and that earned Elwood a hefty $4,850.

2- Kathryn Kusner

If we are talking about brilliant women in United States horse racing history, then it won’t do without mentioning Kathryn Kusner. She has the distinction of being the first licensed female jockey.

In 1967, Kusner had applied for a jockey license through the Maryland Racing Commission. However, her application was denied due to her gender. Even though she was an internationally acclaimed equestrian at that time, she was unable to compete in the United States without a license. She later went to court over this and won the case. Thus, Kusner became the first licensed female jockey in the US in 1968.

Kathy Kusner competed in races from Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Chile and South Africa.

3- Diane Crump

Diane Crump has the distinction of being the first female jockey to ride in a pari-mutuel race in the United States. Although that is not to say that other females didn’t try to achieve this honour. Infact, it is said that Penny Ann Early was denied three times from competing, even though she had been given a license in 1968. That was because male jockeys boycotted to keep Penny Ann Early from participating in the race.

By the time of her retirement, Diane Crump had ridden to 235 wins.

The famous female jockey also has the distinction of being the first female jockey to compete in the prestigious Kentucky Derby, riding Fathom in 1970.

4- Barbara Jo Rubin

Barbara Jo Rubin is another big name in our list of brilliant women in US horse racing history. At a time when people’s attitudes towards female horse racing wasn’t very favourable, Rubin created history by becoming the first woman to win a pari-mutuel race aboard Cohesion in 1969. The amazing female jockey went on to win 11 of her next 22 races.

5- Cheryl White

Another big name in the history of women horse racing is Cheryl White, the first licensed African American female jockey in the United States.

Cheryl White was a highly successful female jockey who is credited with 226 wins, garnering a huge $762,624 in earnings. Her amazing skills would have convinced any sportsracingtips fan/punter to bet on her chances. White also has the distinction of winning two races on the same day in two states in 1971. The amazing jockey later also achieved the feat of winning five races in one day in 1983.

6- Julie Krone

Julie Krone is one of the biggest names in modern female horse racing. She became the first ever woman jockey to win a Triple Crown race. The Michigan-born rider achieved this incredible feat when she won the Belmont Stakes aboard Colonial Affair. She also has the distinction of being the first woman who has been inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.