My Newest Rolemodel: Rosie Napravnik – an American Thoroughbred Horse Racing Jockey!

“She gets a horse to relax and do what she wants it to do.”

Mike Smith, hall of fame jockey


In her name, Kentucky bourbon maker Wild Turkey is donating $10,000 to Old Friends, a retirement farm for thoroughbreds. Every time someone tweets (hashtag) RideWithRosie to @ WildTurkey, the distiller will donate $1 to Old Friends, up to $10,000. If Napravnik wins the Derby, the donation will be doubled to $40,000.

Napravnik won the 2014 Kentucky Oaks yesterday, so if she wins today, “become the first woman to accomplish the Oaks-Derby double and the first rider to do so since Hall of Famer Calvin Borel did it in 2009,” as reported by

Rosie Napravnik aims to become the first female to win horse racing’s marquee event and comes in riding momentum from Friday’s victory by filly Untapable in the Kentucky Oaks.

Anna Rose “Rosie” Napravnik Career wins 1,804+ ongoing As of 26 May 2014

Major racing wins
American Classics wins:
Kentucky Oaks (2012, 2014)
Breeders’ Cup wins:
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (2012)

Significant horses

When Napravnik first started out in racing, she rode under the name A.R. Napravnik to disguise her gender. Horse racing is a male-dominated field and Napravnik thought her luck would be better if no one knew she was female. ABC News reports:

With her red hair tucked under her helmet, she blended in with the male jockeys in their brightly colored silks, white pants and polished black riding boots. Nine years later, Rosie Napravnik is one of the rising stars in the sport, having long ago discarded her ruse.

Over time, Napravnik realized that embracing her gender in the field was a good thing. She previously stated:

Sometimes I feel like it puts me up on a pedestal when I don’t feel like I should be there. At the same time, I have learned to embrace it and be the role model that people want me to be. It’s kind of inspiring to me that I’ve inspired other people.


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