LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 22) Jennifer Miller was a professional rider in a sport that is quite the opposite of Thoroughbred racing. On Friday, she displayed that she has transferred her skills by riding as a professional jockey for the first time in Keeneland’s fourth race. Her mount, Richard Peardon’s Trust in Diane, finished sixth for trainer Joe Sharp while also making her career debut.
“I have been riding Trust in Diane in the mornings since summer so she is special to me,” she said about the 2-year-old Macho Uno filly. “It is great to see her progress.”
Miller grew up in western Massachusetts where she trail rode her own horse. With a desire to be in the saddle more often, she went to a local stable to work in exchange for lessons. The barn specialized in dressage in which horse and rider perform predetermined movements at slow gaits. Miller excelled in the sport and eventually was paid to train and show for others.
To increase her income, Miller went to work as a stable hand two years ago for a mutual friend with racehorses in South Florida. She quickly was promoted to riding the Thoroughbreds.
“Next thing I knew, I was hooked on racing,” she said.
Miller went to work for Sharp in February and now plans to gain more jockey experience at Churchill Downs next month before deciding on where to ride this winter.
“Joe and (his wife former jockey) Rosie Napravnik and their whole team have been fantastic and supportive,” Miller said.