Thank you for taking a look at my History, the timeline of my experience. I truly have been around the world on the back of a horse.

  • At 9 years old, I met three horses while riding my bike one day. I introduced myself to the owners and began spending time with the horses and eventually taking care of them.
Janice L. Blake jb history female Jockey Handicapper

With Indy, a kitten, the owner, and Timmy in the background.

 

  • At age 13, I began working at a livery stable, taking out trail rides.

Janice L. Blake Michiana Stables Trail Rides

 

  • I bought a horse with my paper route money and put him to work as my lead horse in exchange for his board. I joined 4-H with him and The Pony Club.

4-HJanice L. Blake Iroquois 4-H Club Pony Club EventingThe Pony Club130

Iroquois and me preparing to go into the 4-H show ring at the LaPorte County Fair in Indiana.

 

  • I took lessons in eventing, and evented my next horse, Panache, an OTTB*, for 4 years. I studied dressage for 8 years before riding race horses.  *OTTB is short for an Off-Track Thoroughbred, aka, retired race horse.
Janice L. Blake and Panache in a Dressage Test at St. James Farm in Illinois

Janice L. Blake and Panache in a dressage test at St. James Farm in Illinois.

 

  • Wanting to go to the track and ride race horses, I was actively discouraged by just about everyone, so I attended Purdue University on campus for 2 years studying Animal Husbandry and Biomechanics.

Purdue150

 

  • Taking a year off studying at Purdue and learning to exercise Thoroughbred race horses in the greater Chicagoland area was one of the most transformational experiences of my life.

 

  • I met Tom Poulin, a dressage teacher, and studied dressage that year as well.
Janice L. Blake Tom Poulin Extended Trot

Tom Poulin in Germany.

 

  • Returning to school, I transferred to Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH.

Antioch College 

  • Met a woman in Yellow Springs, OH who ran a dressage and event barn, and rode there.
Janice L. Blake and Nancy Kelley 340

Nancy Kelley with a “rein-horse.”

 

  • Graduated with a BS in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from Antioch College.

Vet Med and Bio medical

 

  • Accepted a position to ride and school upper-level dressage in Ontario, Canada with renowned dressage master, Walter Zettl, from Germany.
Walter Zettl in Piaffe

Walter Zettl in Piaffe in Ontario, Canada

 

  • Moved to Chicago and worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in a lab off the ICU.

NW Memorial Hospital

 

  • I also worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Chicago.

U of Chicago

 

  • Took a job as a chauffeur in the evenings.
Janice L. Blake Limo Chicago Horses Racing

With limo

Janice L. Blake with Mary Tyler Moore

With Mary Tyler Moore

 

  • Finally gravitated to Sportsman’s Park and began galloping horses in the morning before driving the limo at night.

Sportsman's

 

  • Galloped horses for Noel Hickey at Hawthorne Race Course and then at Arlington Park.

HawthorneArlington150

 

  • Got my first Jock’s License at Arlington Park. Earlie Fires taught me to break from the gate.

Janice L. Blake Earlie Fires Chicago Arlington

 

  • Took an offer to go to Keeneland to exercise two Stakes horses from Arlington Park. 

Keeneland

 

  • Took another offer to gallop sale babies for Eddie Woods at Classic Mile in Ocala, FL.

Eddie Woods

 

  • Gravitated to Tampa Bay Downs and won my first race on Friendly Goose.

Tampa130

Janice L. Blake Friendly Goose Win Photo500 

  • Won 2 races that year.
  • Went to Maryland and got a job with Dickie Small for the summer.

Pimlico

 

  • Returned to Tampa Bay Downs the next year and won 5 more races. My “bug” had started.

Janice L. Blake Tampa Bay Downs Stakes

 

  • Took a break from riding and got a job galloping babies for D. Wayne Lukas in Summerfield, FL.

DWayne Lukas

 

  • In the summer of 1999, I went to Belmont Park to gallop for D. Wayne Lukas until the Meadowlands opened in New Jersey.

Janice L. Blake Belmont Park ExerciseThe Big M

 

  • Took out my Jock’s License in the Fall and rode the Meadowlands and Aqueduct with my bug that winter.

Aquduct

 

  • Went to Monmouth Park for the summer, then back to Aqueduct for the winter again.

Monmouth

 

  • Moved my tack to Philadelphia Park and rode the various tracks in that area: Atlantic City, Belmont Park, Charles Town, Colonial Downs, Delaware Park, Finger Lakes, Laurel Park, Monmouth Park, Mountaineer, Penn National, Pimlico, Presque Isle Downs, and Saratoga. 

Parx Racing

 AC100Janice L. Blake Belmont Park Exercise Charles TownColonial Downs 100DelawareFinger LakesGSPHoosier Park Racing Horse Equipment150LAURELMonmouth125MountaineerPenn NatPimlicoPresque Isle125 Janice L. Blake Saratoga Spa TraversJanice L. Blake Tampa Bay Downs Stakes

 

  • During this time, riding at tracks up and down the East Coast, I was invited to participate in several Female Jockey Challenges. Two years each at Hoosier Park in Indiana and Philadelphia Park in Pennsylvania.

Hoosier150 Parx Racing

 

  • Then I was invited to Brazil to participate in their Ladies Day Tournament for each of 3 years. I finished second in 2013.

Hipodromo do Cristal150 Janice L. Blake Brasil Tournament Ladies Racing Female Jockey

 

  • Since then I have lived and ridden mostly in New York. I love New York!

Liberty Shield