a 20-year-old exercise rider from Youngsville, La., summed up her
feelings about her first career mount on Friday at Churchill Downs with
just one word – “awesome.”
Broussard, who grew up competing in
barrel races in her hometown near Lafayette, first considered switching
to riding in Thoroughbred races at age 15 and made her way to Evangeline
Training Center at 18.
“In barrel racing, you’re by
yourself,” Broussard said. “Horse racing is more of an adrenaline rush
because you’re racing with other horses.”
Broussard made her way to Kentucky
this year after spending the winter at Fair Grounds and now is ready to
ride in her first race after more than two years as an exercise rider.
She will be aboard It’snotyouit’sme in
Friday’s ninth race. Post time for Race 9 is 6:54 p.m.
“I’ve got family flying in from
Louisiana for the race,” Broussard said. “I’m not nervous about it,
though. I’m trying not to think about it too much, but I’m not really
one that gets nervous.”
While many jockeys need to focus on
keeping their weight down, at 4 feet 11 inches, Broussard actually
worked to gain weight in preparation for her riding career.
“I weighed 84 pounds last year and
now I weigh 99,” Broussard said. “I always ate enough, but I started
going to the gym and just gave it time.”
Broussard mentioned that she has received help from many people on her journey to becoming a jockey, including her agent Fred Aime and jockey Rosie Napravnik.
“Fred has helped me a lot and I wouldn’t be this far without Rosie,” Broussard said.
Broussard said she plans to ride the meet at Ellis Park at the conclusion of the Churchill Downs meet.
“The plan is to go to Ellis and then I don’t know where I’ll go from there,” Broussard said.