Jennifer Reid has been riding since she was six years old, starting with the 4H Club, and then moving on to rodeo barrel racing. The multiple stakes winner, including the 2013 Gold Cup Stakes at Assiniboia, is currently competing at Northlands Park.
When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a jockey?
“I was waitlisted for a program at Olds College and there was a course on horse racing and learning how to gallop. I love horses, so galloping just clicked and from there I knew I wanted to be a jockey.”
Tell us about your first win. What was it like when you knew it was going to happen?
“It was exciting and exhilarating. Crossing that wire first was and still is an amazing feeling!”
What is the best advice you received, and how has it impacted your career?
“I was once told, ‘It’s all peaks and valleys in this game,’ meaning there’s highs and lows with riding and racetrack life. I really believe it’s true. You can’t allow yourself to get too low when your not riding much and not winning and then don’t get too high on yourself either when the horses are running awesome and finding the winner’s circle.”
What drives you to succeed?
“I think what drives me the most is that I’m showing people who doubt me and still doubt me that I can ride and do it well. And at different tracks, too. Let the haters hate. It just pushes me to do better.”
How would you describe yourself as a rider?
“The best way would be to say that I am a patient rider.”
Who are some of your favourite horses?
“There was a mare called Mining Town I rode for Tom Gardipy. I worked galloping her and rode her. She gave you her all every trip out. She would work and run lights-out fast. Another favourite is a stallion called Socratical for Dan McFarlane. I call him Mr. Sexy. I did everything on him and we get along so well. I won a couple on him this winter (at Turf Paradise). It was really hard saying goodbye to him. It made me sad to leave him.”
What do you like to do to unwind from the racetrack?
“I like to kick back and relax and read a good book…or five (laughing). Books are my way of escaping reality and worries of life.”
What’s the one race you’d like to ride in that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
“Being in the Kentucky Derby would be a mind-blowing experience. Any huge races would be icing on the cake.”