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Today it is hardly noticed whether a rider is male or female such has been the success of the like of Rachel Blackmore and Hollie Doyle and many others overseas and in SA of apprentice Rachel Venniker. 

This was not the case when Julie Krone was riding and the Hall Of Famer is still regarded in the USA as the best female jockey ever.

 

She has certainly ridden the most winners of any female jockey in history, 3,700 career wins in all.

 

Raised on a horse farm in Eau Claire, Michigan, Krone began riding horses at an early age and won her first horse show when she was five years old.  At the age of 14, after watching 18 year-old Steve Cauthen win a Triple Crown race, she set her sights on becoming a jockey.

Two short years later, Krone made her debut riding Tiny Star at Tampa Bay Downs; less than a month later, she won her first race aboard Lord Farkle at the same track (1981).  She soon became the first female leading rider at Monmouth Park, The Meadowlands, Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park and Atlantic City Race Course.  Among her myriad achievements, Krone won six races in one day at both The Meadowlands (twice) and Monmouth Park, and won five races in one day at Saratoga Race Course and Santa Anita Park.

In 1993, Krone rode Colonial Affair to victory at the Belmont Stakes and made history as the first woman to win a Triple Crown event.  She set records again in 2003 as the first woman to win a Breeders’ Cup event at the Juvenile Fillies and the first woman to win a million dollar event at the Pacific Classic.

Krone is the recipient of many awards, including ESPN’s Professional Female Athlete of the Year (1993) and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Wilma Rudolph Courage Award (2004).  In 2000, she became the first woman inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

Initially retired from horse racing in 1999, Krone became a commentator and analyst for the TVG racing network and the Hollywood Park simulcast network.  She returned to the sport in 2002, retiring for the final time in 2004.  Today, she maintains a close relationship with the Thoroughbred racing business and shares her love of horses through motivational speeches, clinics and private tutoring.

Picture: Julie Krone (Britannica.com)