Growing up in a family filled with horses, I was destined to follow in the same direction. I come from a racing family. My Mom rode over jumps, my Grandmother was one of the first female jockeys to hold a license, and my Uncle trains horses on the flat. I grew up mostly horse showing and foxhunting, but I always had an interest in racing. I was given a racing pony when I was 12 to do the Junior Field Master Chases run by NAPPA. I wanted to try something different. Immediately, I fell in love with running and jumping with all of my friends over the beautiful point to point courses.
I quickly out grew my pony and was given a wonderful horse named Orpington. He ran on the flat with my Uncle, Graham Motion, before his owner, Gil Johnston, took him to Jack Fisher’s to run over hurdles. Mrs. Johnston knew how much I loved him, so she very kindly gave him to me when he was done running over hurdles to teach me the ropes. He was every young riders dream schoolmaster. It wasn’t easy at first with him. He was a tough horse, but he made me work hard and learn how to improve my riding. I also began to ride out at Graham’s over the summers in Fair Hill so that I could get even more practice and learn how to gallop racehorses. I loved riding out and learning from all of the experienced riders that were at Fair Hill, I still do.
Orpington and I competed in 11 NAPPA races and won all 11 of them. I loved that feeling of crossing the wire first, I became addicted. In 2011 I finally turned 16 and was able to apply for my amateur jump jockey license. My birthday is at the beginning of March, which is also the beginning of the spring season. A week after my birthday I was already entering my first race at a local point to point. Orpington and I went on to win 2 Fox Hunter timber races that spring. Thanks to my success with him, owners and trainers were really starting to notice me and I started to get more rides.
Every day before school I would go to Kinross Farm and ride out for Neil Morris. Some days I would ride one horse, go to school and then go back to Kinross and ride more. It was hard work, but I loved it. I also spent more time over my school breaks riding out for another trainer, Doug Fout. As a young rider, it’s really important to ride out for as many trainers as you can. Putting in a lot of effort will stand out to trainers so that when it comes to race day, you’re on the top of their list of jockeys to use.
In 2013 I graduated from high school and moved to England to gain even more experience. I’m now back in the US and living at Fair Hill. I ride out for Graham before I go to school every day. I even get to do some traveling on the weekends to the races with his horses. I’m looking forward to the spring and doing some more traveling. I’m lucky to be able to work with horses while I continue to work hard in school. Riding out and working with the racehorses is what keeps me ticking. I haven’t ridden a race since 2013, because I’ve been traveling and working hard in school, but my goal this spring is to get back out there and enjoy doing what I love.