Jesiere Medina is a young bug rider from Puerto Rico that will probably be in the US by the time this is posted. She is the 2nd female rider to win her 1st ever race (the previous rider did it 34 yrs ago) and she also has 2 brothers who ride who also won their 1st ever races. Thanks to Roberto Velez for hooking me up with Jesiere and now onto the interview.
FOTH: How old are you and how long have you been riding?
JM: First of all, hello Chris and thanks for the interview. I am 19 years old. I have been riding professionally for two months, since January 01, 2008.
FOTH: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
JM: I was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and also I grow up there.
FOTH: Did you know when you were a young girl growing up that you wanted to be a jockey?
JM: I decide to be a jockette after I saw my brothers riding.
FOTH: What event or events actually led to you being a jockey?
JM: There were not others events, I get inspire by my brothers.
FOTH: Did you teach yourself how to ride or did you have some people help you?
JM: No, I do not get teach by myself. I study in the Puerto Rico Jockey Vocational School, in the facilities of Camarero Race Track in Can—vanas, for 2 years. One of my brothers (Luis) is riding in the states and advise me a lot to ride good. My other brother (Jos) that is riding in Puerto Rico is always advising me. Therefore the Vocational School give me the basic theory and my brothers and others Puertorican professional jockeys the hints.
FOTH: Are there many female riders in Puerto Rico? Are there many racetracks there and do they get good crowds for the racing?
JM: Right now I am the only one riding, the others females usually only gallop horses in the morning. There is only one racetrack, with two dirt tracks, the inner one for ponies and the outer track for racing and morning works. Mainly on Sundays and Holidays we get a good crowds because on the week we have OTB (Off Track Betting).
FOTH: Any plans on coming to the US to ride and if so what track (s) would
you like to ride at?
JM: Right now I planning to ride on Tampa Bay on the February 27 week. If there is a good opportunity I would like to ride on Los Angeles, California (Santa Anita). That is my best wish, to ride there and do it good.
FOTH: I know you won your 1st race and that is the 2nd time in 34 yrs that a female rider there has won her 1st race. Were you surprised and in shock that you won?
JM: Yes I was shock, I do not have any words to said in that moment. I was so happy, in first place I thanks God, then the Trainer and then the Owner of the Horse. I was very surprised with the win. That was the second time in 34 years, the first time in the Camarero Racetrack (34 years ago was on the old Racetrack El Comandante) and the first time that two puertorican jockettes won on the same day (my fellow Carol Cede–o won that day on Aqueduct racetrack, also as a bug rider). That day was very important to me because my two brothers also won on their first professional race on the Camarero racetrack (Must be a record).
FOTH: Did you win by a lot or was it a close finish and were you on a long shot or a favorite?
JM: I won by around 4 lengths. Up to the last 200 meters were very close and then I get off on the 100 meters. It was a long shot.
FOTH: How long would you like to ride for and are there any jockeys that you admire?
JM: I will let that on God hands, until he let me ride. My brothers (Luis and Jos) and the leading jockey from Puerto Rico Juan Carlos D’az are the ones that I admire more.
FOTH: How do you prepare for a race?
JM: I get ready physically and mentally before each race.
FOTH: How long did you gallop before you got your jockey license?
JM: I gallop for one year and 9 months before I got my jockey license.
FOTH: Was becoming a jockey easier or harder than you thought?
JM: It was more hard that I thought.
FOTH: Do you think you get treated pretty fairly being a female rider down in Puerto Rico?
JM: Sincerely I do not get treated fair, compare to my fellows men riders, and I am not the first one. But I try to work hard anyway.
FOTH: What things do you do when your away from the track?
JM: I like go to the Gym and to the Church, and stay relax.
FOTH: Can you make a decent living being a jockey?
JM: Yes, if you win and are on the top 20 leaders.
FOTH: Has your family seen you ride in person and what do they think of you
being a jockey?
JM: They saw me from my first race and they are very proud of me.
FOTH: Did the jockeys give you "the initiation" like they do here
in the US?
JM: Yes, after my first win I get wet with cold water by my fellow jockeys and trainers.
FOTH: I am out of questions. Best of luck to you with your riding career and
thumbs up for the interview. Any last words you want to say?
JM: Thanks you very much for the interview. I hope there is enough information for you and the fans. Thanks you very much again, take care and God bless you.
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