A pioneer in the field of horse racing, in 1970, Diane Crump became the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby. A Derby win may have eluded her, but she scored more than 230 victories on track before leaving the sport in 1985. Since retiring from competition, Crump has worked as a trainer for many years and has her own horse breeding business.
A pioneer in the field of horse racing, Diane Crump was born in 1948 in Milford, Connecticut, and went on to become the first female jockey to compete in a pari-mutuel race in the United States at Hialeah Park, Florida, on February 7, 1969. (Pari-mutuel refers to a system of betting.) Crump again made sports history as the first woman to ride at the Kentucky Derby in 1970.
First Famous Ride at Hialeah
Diane Crump spent her teens in Florida. She began working at a thoroughbred horse farm at a young age, and made her first famous ride at Hialeah on a horse named Bridle 'n Bit at the age of 20. Although she didn't win that race, Crump showed that female jockeys could handle the track and the thoroughbreds as well as the male jockey.
1970 Kentucky Derby
Crump again illustrated that point at the 1970 Kentucky Derby while riding a horse named Fathom. Crump came in 15th in a 17-horse race, but, most notably, became the first woman to ride at the Kentucky Derby. A Derby win may have eluded her, but she scored more than 230 victories on track before retiring 1985. Competing came with a price: Crump suffered several injuries and had to deal with the resentment held by many in the sport against female jockeys.
Since retiring from competition, Diane Crump has worked as a trainer for many years. She also has her own horse breeding business.
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