Samantha Colvin is a young jockey riding currently at Arlington Park and I hooked up for an interview with her and this is what was said:
FOTH: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
SC: Cogan Station, PA
FOTH: Did you come from a big family or a small family and what sort of girl were you growing up?
SC: Small family, just one older brother. He is 18 months older than me.
I was a tomgirl...followed my brother around as a youngster. We played lots of sports and I thrived in any type of competition. As I entered my teens I became more "girly" but I never lost the competitive spirit.
FOTH: When you were growing up, did the thought of ever being involved in horse racing ever enter your mind?
FOTH: When you were growing up what did you want to be ?
SC: Olympic runner or swimmer.
FOTH: Now how did the world of horse racing enter your life and the 1st racetrack you went to, if you remember, what was that experience like?
SC: The first racetrack I went to was Presque Isle Downs in Erie, PA. It was built a few miles down the road from my grandfather's house several years ago. What struck me the most was the beauty and power of the horse. Also, the competitive spirit of the races.
FOTH: So take me through the steps of you working on a racetrack and how that happened and what was the 1st job you had there and was this the 1st step you took in eventually becoming a jockey?
SC: I was toying with finishing my college degree in Erie. After seeing the races, a friend I recently met volunteered to show me the backside. I got a tour one morning, and a trainer offered me a job as a hotwalker. I remember thinking..."What is that?!" Long story short I started walking hots, which was the first step of MANY before I rode races.
FOTH: Now I assume you were an ex-rider before you become a jockey. Who did you work for and who ended up teaching you to ride and for those who don’t know, what is an ex-rider.
SC: I first started learning to ride in Ocala, FL breaking babies. After a crash course there, I spent a brief time at a track in VA before heading to Camden, SC to work for a steeplechase trainer. From there I headed back to the track in Maryland where I did a lot of freelancing.
FOTH: How long from the time you got involved in the industry did you have a jockey license in your hand?
SC: It took about 3 years.
MC: What did you parents think when you told them you wanted to become a jockey and have they ever seen you ride before?
SC: Jockey??? REALLLY???!!!
Yes they have discovered HRTV.
FOTH: Tell me about your 1st race and what you remember about it. What track was it at?
SC: First ride at Laurel. I remember a lot of mudd in my face.
MC: Tell me about your 1st win and what track was that at?
SC: First winner at Pimlico. It was my 5th career mount aboard a maiden 3 yr old.
FOTH: Did the jockeys get you good and did you know it was coming?
SC: Did I mention I was a competitive runner? I dodged the most of it :)
FOTH: What track are you currently riding at and tell me a bit about that track.
SC: Arlington Park in Chicago. It is a beautiful place, especially the Paddock and Grandstand area.
FOTH: Looking back was becoming a jockey easier or harder than you thought it was going to be?
SC: Harder than I ever anticipated.
FOTH: Do you think you will be involved in horse racing in one form or another for a long time?
MC: If you were not a jockey, what do you think you would be doing with yourself these days?
SC: Finishing college.
FOTH: What are some things you like to do when you are not doing horse related stuff?
SC: Run, read a good book, watch a flick. What is it they say..."normal fun stuff"
FOTH: What tracks have you rode at so far and is there any track that you have seen on TV, that made you say, ‘I’d love to ride there?”
SC: So far....Laurel, Pimlico, Colonial, Presque, and Arlington.
California would be a dream!
FOTH: If a young girl came up to you and said she wanted to become a jockey, what advice would you give to her?
SC:Never, never, NEVER give up.
FOTH: Samantha, I am out of questions, thumbs up for the interview and any last words to wrap this?
SC:Thanks for the support!