Traci Baird

Traci Baird is a retired jockey who saw our website and I asked if she wanted to be part of it so here is an email chat I did with her.

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

TB: Beaumont, Texas, I grew up mainly in Louisiana.

FOTH: Any brothers or sisters?

TB: 2 Sisters

FOTH: What sort of kid were you growing up?

TB: I was into barrel racing at a very early age. I rode nearly every weekend. I was to busy to ever be into trouble.

FOTH: What event or events led to you becoming a jockey?

TB: I started galloping at 16 for David Nelson. He is now the president of Purina Mills. Inc. He had a few racehorses in Shreveport. I got my jocks license in 1991 at Delta Downs.

FOTH: Any female riders you liked back then

TB: Yes, I had some of the best female jockeys to look up to, Tami Purcell, Kim Stover and Jerri Nichols.

FOTH: What do you remember about your first race?

TB: The horse was Reason to Swing. I was in the 5 hole, 6 furlongs. I finished 5th.

FOTH: What do you remember about your first win? Did they cream you with stuff?

TB: Oh my gosh, the horse was Northern Searcher. I was a long shot. I was on the lead the whole race and when I turned for home the velcro on silks came undone and air got inside and blew my shirt up like a parachute. It was so funny!! They got me so good. They threw ice water on me and drug me through the dirt. Vaseline in my hair and shaving cream all over.

FOTH: What tracks did you ride at?

TB: Delta Downs, Evangeline, Louisiana Downs, Fair Grounds.

FOTH: What was your proudest moment as a jockey?

TB: My first stakes win on Fabulous Force.

FOTH: How long did you ride for?

TB: 5 years

FOTH: What event or events led to you retiring?

TB: I broke my leg twice within a year. I had a six month old daughter who needed me in one piece. My family bought several barrel futurity colts and I thought it would be safer for me to go back into barrel racing.

FOTH: Any female jockeys you admire?

TB: Tami Purcell, Kim Stover, Jerri Nichols, Karen Kaiser, Darbie Coco.

FOTH: Do you still follow the sport much?

TB: Yes

FOTH: What injuries have you had?

TB: I broke my leg twice, dislocated my hip, front teeth knocked out, broken ribs

FOTH: Did you have a favorite track or horse you rode?

TB: Delta Downs, Mister Boto

FOTH: What advice would you give a young female who wants to ride?

TB: Listen to the older riders, be humble and forgiving, Attitude is everything!!!

FOTH: Looking back was being a jockey harder or easier than you thought it would be?

TB: Hard Life period!!!!

FOTH: Any last words? Thanks for doing this interview with us.

TB: Good Luck to all the girl riders out there. Stick together and stay safe.

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