Looking back at the woman who made horse racing history
As with many sports, horse racing has evolved in recent years to become more inclusive and open to all types of people. Of course, that should be the case but, unfortunately, it wasn’t always like that and women, in particular, were a rarity in the sport.
Nowadays, you can search for the latest horse racing betting odds and you will find women jockeys in the biggest races around. Whether that’s in Europe, the US or Australia, there are women on the horses looking to claim a significant victory.
Some will argue that there there is still more work to do but there’s no denying that serious strides have been made.
And, whilst that improvement will never be down to just one person, the role that Julie Krone played to help break down barriers for young girls who wanted to participate shouldn't be forgotten.
That’s because she made history when she won the Belmont Stakes in New York back in 1993. To highlight the scale of her achievement, Krone was not only the first woman to win a Triple Crown race but she remains the only woman to do so to this day. What’s more, she did it on a 14-1 shot, so it’s not like she was riding the firm favourite.
Therefore, it was a huge deal and the knock-on effect it would have had to young girls who are interested in the sport would have been huge.
Such was Krone’s ability as a jockey, the win was by no means her only achievement in the sport, even if it was undoubtedly her finest hour. She had tasted success prior to that big day in ’93 and she went on to make her mark on many other races up and down America and Canada over the years.
Another famous triumph for Krone arrived a decade after her Belmont Stakes win and it came in another huge event; the Breeders’ Cup. Once again, she became the first female to win the prestigious race, which was played out in front of a huge crowd that exceeded 50,000.
The fact she stayed at the top of her game for over a decade was also a clear indication of just how good Krone was.
Unsurprisingly, Krone’s achievements have been recognised, as she was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and she also went on to make the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Since retiring, the Michigan-born jockey has gone on to be a motivational speaker, demonstrating how her story is seen as a real inspiration to youngsters across the world, even to this day.
Women are still fighting for chances in horse racing but we now see countless talented individuals occupying different roles within the sport.
Ultimately, we don’t know the exact role that Julie Krone played in creating opportunities for the next generation but she will have certainly helped massively as she proved she had the ability and mentality to cope in such an environment, allowing others to follow suit.