Joanne McDaid is a jockey I have known for a couple years now and I interviewed her a few years back when she started riding at Phila Park and I thought it was time to do an updated interview so I sent her some questions and here is what she said to them:
FOTH: You have now been riding at Phila Park for a few years now. How has the
whole experience been for you?
JM: It has been great here I love riding here and I get a lot of opportunities to ride.
FOTH: Have you had a chance to go back to Ireland and do you miss it?
JM: No I haven't been back in 2 1/2 years cause in this business you don't get much of a break and no I don't really miss it.
FOTH: You won the award for top apprentice jockey last year at Phila Park.
How was that whole experience for you and did the track give you some kind of
award for that?
JM: It was a great experience and the track gave me an award of a jockey holding a tack and my name was on it and the amount of wins.
FOTH: How long do you plan on riding for or at this time you have no idea?
JM: I just want to ride for as long as I can.
FOTH: Have you had any injuries the past 3 years riding?
JM: Yes I have had 2 pins put in my finger and I have had 2 fractured vertebras and a hernated disc in my back.
FOTH: Do you still feel you are improving as a jockey?
JM: Yes, I still I am improving on things to make me a better rider.
FOTH: Was it tough for you to adjust from an apprentice rider to a journeyman
JM: No it wasn't tough cause all the people that rode me when I had the "bug" stood by me after I lost the "bug".
FOTH: I know you lift weights and go to the gym and look as strong as an ok.
What type of exercise do you do at the gym? Do you mostly do say upper body
stuff for your arms, shoulders and back or do you work your entire body and
do you feel your lifting weights has helped you as a rider?
JM: The gym has helped me a lot and I work on a different part of my body everyday so I work each of my muscles once a week, but they also get a break.
FOTH: I know you have ridden at Monmouth Park, Delaware Park and Penn National.
I know you are mostly riding horses that have shipped in to race, but do you
notice any difference in those tracks as say compared to Phila Park?
JM: Every track is different and every rider as a different style at each track.
FOTH: I know Phila Park has just opened a casino area to the track. Have you
had a chance to go over there yet and if you haven't will you?
JM: I went to the casino with my friend and it was pretty cool, but I lost money so I don't think I'll be going back and I don't think I have a future in gambling.
FOTH: Phila Park is open for racing year round. Does riding in the cold bother
you at all and how do you go about staying warm while you are out there and
do you have to do anything differently as far as riding when it is cold out?
JM: It doesn't bother me I just wear extra clothes and I'm fine.
FOTH: Have you had a chance since you have been here awhile to go into the
city and see the different sites the city has to offer?
JM: Yes I have been in the city and I love the art museum, The Liberty Bell and I have seen some shows the last one being The Phantom of the Opera.
FOTH: Do you have a favorite horse that you like to ride?
JM: I like all of the horses that I ride.
FOTH: Have you had a chance to ride in any stake races yet?
JM: I have been in a few stake races and the closest I finished was 2nd.
FOTH: If asked, would you go out and ride in the female jockey challenge at
JM: Yes I would.
FOTH: Have you ever got recognized outside the track at all?
JM: Yeah, I sometimes get recognized when I am at the store, Wawa, during the break. (what she means by "during the break" is that during the morning training hours the track shuts down for 30 minutes while everybody takes a 30 minute break-chris)
FOTH: What sort of music do you like if any?
JM: I like a variety of music. I like hip hop, rock n roll, etc.
FOTH: Is there any hobbies or things you like to do when your away from the
JM: I like to go to the gym, going out to eat, the movies, and going into the city. I just like keeping busy.
FOTH: Do you still watch all your race replays and replay the race in your
head and see what things you did right and what things you did wrong during
a particular race?
JM: Yes all the time.
FOTH: Has your family had a chance to come over and see you ride live at all?
JM: My family hasn't been to Phila Park to see me ride yet, but they see me on satellite all the time they can watch it from home.
FOTH: I know I asked you this the 1st time we talked, but if a young girl came
up to you and said she wanted to become a jockey, what advice would you give
JM: I would say do it because you only live once.
FOTH: Do you think another female rider will ever win one of the Triple Crown
JM: Yes definitely.
FOTH: Do you think there is a chance you giving me a thumb's up in the winner's
circle like Maria Charles does ha ha?
JM: Yes I'll make a point to do it I promise. (laughs)
FOTH: Do you have any goals for yourself at the present time?
JM: Yeah I want to become a better rider and improve with every race I ride.
FOTH: Joanne thanks for letting me interview you a 2nd time and being part
of the website. Any last words you want to say?
JM: Just thanks for the interview Chris.
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