Beverly Burress

Beverly Burress is a jockey I didn't know much about and Ashton Fitzpatrick put me touch with her and we had this nice chat.

FOTH: Where were you born and where did you grow up?

BB: I was born in Shevsport, Louisiana and I grew up in Jones, Oklahoma.

FOTH: Do you have brothers or sisters?

BB: I have an old sister and she is married to Quincy Hamilton (I think he is a jockey-chris) and I have a younger brother.

FOTH: What do your parents and brother and sister thing of you being a jockey?

BB: My father is really proud cause he was once a jockey and my mother wasn't too exited because of the risk. My sister and brother support me 100%.

FOTH: When you knew you wanted to become a jockey did you father help you out a lot as far as the ins and outs of being a jockey.

BB: Between my grandfather and my father they both taught me everything I know.

FOTH: Did you know at a young age you wanted to be a jockey or was that something that happened later on?

BB: Actually it came a lot later as I started out as a hotwalker, then a groom and slowly then worked my way up to a pony person/exersise rider and then I enjoyed what I was doing as an exercise rider so I just took the next step and became an apprentice jockey.

FOTH: Tell us about your 1st race.

BB: My 1st race was at Blue Ribbon Downs I was riding a filly for Neil Doith (hope that is correct-chris) and the horse name was "Making the Grade" and the race was a 7 1/2 furlongs and the horse was a maiden filly and we broke on top and ended up getting further back in the race and about the 3/8ths pole she started running off with me and as luck would have it we won the race.

FOTH: How much of a thrill was it for your jogging the horse back to the winners circle after the race?

BB: All my other jockeys told me after the race after going 7 1/2 furlongs, which is 2 turns that my legs would be shaking and I'd be so exhausted that I would fall off the horse. I had so much adrenaline and it was so much of a rush from that victory, I couldn't feel anything and my mom and dad came to watch me ride and I couldn't have been happier.

FOTH: Did you get plastered after the race?

BB: Yes I did. (almost laughs) They got me with ice water and a lot of baby powder. They were very creative I should say.

FOTH: Tell us a little bit about Blue Ribbon Downs. Is that one of those tracks that only runs a short time during the year?

BB: No, they run more a less every weekend and they run a mixed meet. They run thoroughbred and quarter races and also paints and abs (hope it is right). It is a very neat and track and you get to see all the ways a horse can run. It is very educational.

FOTH: How long have you been riding and how long would you like to ride for?

BB: I have been riding since March and I'd like to ride as long as my body is able.

FOTH: You rode at Remington Park. What was it like riding there and is that track pretty fair to female riders?

BB: The track treats the jockeys very well and Ashton Fitzpatrick is a close friend of mine. The jockeys there taught me a lot and helped me and sat down and taught me right from wrong and I have to say thank you very much to all the jockeys at Remington Park.

FOTH: Do you pretty much plan on staying out in the mid-west or would you like to branch out and maybe ride down south or the east coast?

BB: Right now I am riding at Sam Houston and after Christmas I plan on going to Oaklawn to ride.

FOTH: Do you do anything special to stay in shape or you don't have any problems with your weight?

BB: No I am really good with the weight and staying in shape, I just gallop 10 in the morning and your great.

FOTH: Take us through what you go through in a typical day.

BB: I get up at 4:45 am and I am at the race track by 5:30 am and I get on 6 before break and I try to get on 6 more after break and after training hours I go see my family and stay with them for a while and when it is race time, it's time to go. (laughs)

FOTH: Do you notice a big difference between Remington Park and Sam Houston?

BB: Yes, I did. The track surface is very different, the 1st part is very lighting fast track and here the track is a little deeper and holds ya and it slows the time down.

FOTH: Do you like all the big fields at Sam Houston?

BB: You have to approach every race different and it is all about the horse and if the horse comes from behind, you just have to build a plan for the race and as soon as the gates for the race open and sometimes the instructions the trainer and owner gave you have to out the window cause it has to do with how the race is playing out.

FOTH: Do you prefer dirt or turf racing?

BB: I prefer dirt racing. Turf racing is a lot better is your behind you don't get any dirt thrown in your face, but I prefer dirt racing.

FOTH: At Blue Ribbon Downs, did you ride any quarter horse races?

BB: Yes I did. I rode 3 or 4 quarter races. The 1st quarter horse race I ran I finished 2nd and the adrenaline rush you get when you leave the gate, the way they break, it is amazing and unique.

FOTH: Do you think another female rider will win one of the Triple Crown races in the future?

BB: Heck yeah. There are more female jockeys getting more support and I really do think they can win one.

FOTH: If some young girl came up to you and said she wanted to be a jockey, what advice would you give her?

BB: Hard work and dedication and have fun. If you don't love the business it's not much fun. If you love what you do, you can do anything.

FOTH: How do you prepare for a race?

BB: I usually go and buy a program and I look at the race and I look at all horses in the race. I look for speed horses or horses that like to close and you try and sit and handicap it and you listen to the trainer's instructions and see how they fit the horse. Most trainers will tell you to do what you can and have a safe trip.

FOTH: Any special day stick out in your mind?

BB: Yes April 30, 2005, I was riding a horse named 'Skinner Pride' for Trainer Ojay Osbourne in the Jack Hammer Memorial Stakes at Blue Ribbon Downs and the little horse he ended up winning wit me and it was my 6th win.

FOTH: Have you heard any trainers not wanting to ride you because your a female?

BB: I have heard people say that, but if they would just ride me one time and let me try it one time and if they didn't approve of my riding I would never ride for them again. I would say they should give me a shot to see what I can do on their horse.

FOTH: I am out of questions. Anything you want to add to say to wrap this up?

BB: I would just like to say thanks to all the people that supported me and got me to where I am today, without them I wouldn't be here so thank you.