By Laura Pappano
Just two days before filly Rachel Alexandra made a splash by beating the boys at the Preakness Stakes, another female athlete tore up the racetrack – from in the saddle.
On May 14, 24-year-old Jenna Joubert became one of the few jockeys (ever) to ride three different horses to victory at three different racetracks in three different states – in a single day. She rode Chloe’s Song in the second race of the afternoon at Pimlico in Baltimore, Prove Meguilty in the first race of the evening at Penn National in Grantsville, Pa., and (at 11:06 p.m.) Cover My Six at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, W. Va.
I spoke with Joubert, who rides for Dane Kobiskie at PTK stables, LLC in Maryland, as she headed to Colonial Downs in New Kent, Virginia. Fortunately, this day, all her races were scheduled for the same track.
FGN: How did you become interested in being a jockey?
JJ: When I was little, I didn’t know women could be jockeys. Then I met Paula Bacon. When I was about 8 or 9, my family moved from the city to a rural farm, my parents got into the racing business and I was like, “I want to be a jockey when I grow up.” When I got older I started galloping race horses (that’s like exercising horses in the morning). I loved it. I love riding horses, figuring out their personalities and how to get along with them.
FGN: What sorts of personalities do horses have?
JJ: It’s like with people, every single horse is different. Some you have to be aggressive with, a lot you have to make them happy. You may need to have soft hands or light hands. Having light hands, you play with the bit in their mouth to get them to settle down. Race horses can be kind of flighty –