(WSVN) - A South Florida-based jockey has gotten a lot of attention, both on and off the track. She has been both a model and an actress, but she may be best known for her horse riding.
There’s never been anyone horseracing like jockey Chantal Sutherland.
When she wasn’t winning races, she had a second career off the track as a model in Vogue and Vanity Fair.
In 2008, she was named one of People Magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People.”
“They do bring up the magazine sometimes, I mean, the guys in the jocks’ room, they’ll say that 100 most beautiful people, that was somebody’s opinion or that was only a month,” Sutherland said. “They tease me.”
But Sutherland is the one having the last laugh. The one-time model has close to 1,100 career wins.
Her horses have earned just over $53 million.
“With my experience and I’m still super strong and athletic and fit,” Sutherland said. “I still feel as young as the younger people.”
Sutherland started her career as a jockey at the age of 21. She is now 45.
Nearly three years ago, she was thrown from a horse. She broke her collarbone and fractured her right knee and tibia.
“When you come off an injury, and you’re out for four or five months, to get back in this industry takes another four to five months just to build your business,” Sutherland said, “and then COVID hit, so it’s like two slams in the face. I definitely got kicked in the teeth.”
Sutherland is now using boxing to strengthen her body as she begins a full season of racing at Gulf Stream Park.
She said she has her critics, especially those on social media.
“You know, you’ve got your haters and some have said that I’ve ruined the industry for posing for Vanity Fair,” she said. “I’m a grandma, I can’t ride, I should have babies, girls don’t belong in sports. Tedious, mean, unkind. If I get out there and I start winning, it’s like anything, they’ll want you. I have no doubt it’s going to go well.”
Sutherland won her first race in the season at Gulf Stream Park on Sunday.
She said if she stays healthy, she plans on riding for many more years.
The record for a win in North America by the oldest female jockey is held by Diana King. She was 67 at the time in 2013.
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