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Young People in Horse Racing: Courtenay Hernandez

When Courtney Hernandez took to the track for her first start on December 7, she and mount Wildshoes for Me had tougher competition than the horse’s $5,000 claiming pricetag would suggest. Hernandez left the gate just two spots away from older brother Colby Hernandez.

“My brother rode at the side of me the whole time. I really wasn’t too, too nervous,” she recalled.

That’s probably because racing is in Hernandez’s blood.

Courtney Hernandez, 19, is the fourth member of her family to get in the starting gates, the best known of the group being Brian Hernandez, Jr., who piloted Fort Larned to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and notched the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey at the age of 19. Their father, Brian Hernandez Sr., has been a jockey for most of his children’s lives, and still rides at age 48. Colby, age 24, got his license in 2006.

While Hernandez Sr. was the first one to become a jockey, he wasn’t the first in his family to become involved in Thoroughbreds—both his father and grandfather owned horses and raced them on Louisiana’s bush tracks. Growing up, Hernandez Sr. had always dreamt of becoming a jockey, but his mother discouraged the idea. In his early twenties though, he decided he was old enough to give it a try.

Read More at Paulick Report

 

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