My History

Thank you for having a look at my experience with horses. 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. I introduced myself to the owners and began spending time with the horses and eventually taking care of them.

Janice L. Blake author history female Jockey Your Mane Track

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 Your Mane Track Trail Rides Michiana Stables

 

  • I bought “Iroquois” 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-H Clover Head, Health, Hands, HeartJanice L. Blake Iroquois 4-H Pony Club EventingThe Pony Club, Where it all Begins

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.

Purdue University, Lafayette, IN

 

  • 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.

JB gallops Rudy, the race horse, on a crisp day in winter at Belmont on the pony track.

 

  • I met Tom Poulin, a dressage teacher, and studied dressage that year as well.

Janice L. Blake Tom Poulin Extended Trot Your Mane Track

Tom Poulin in Germany.

 

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

Antioch College,Yellow Springs, OH Janice L. Blake 

  • I met a woman in Yellow Springs, OH who ran a dressage and event barn and rode there.

Janice L. Blake and Nancy Kelley Your Mane Track

Nancy Kelley with a “rein horse.”

 

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

Vet Med and Bio medical Janice L. Blake

 

  • 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 Janice L. Blake Dressage

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 Chicago, IL

 

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

University of Chicago

 

  • Took a job as a chauffeur in the evenings.

Janice L. Blake Limo Chicago Horses Racing

With limo

 

Janice L. Blake Mary Tyler Moore jockey horse expert

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 Park, Chicago, Illinois horse woman expert

 

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

Hawthorne Race CourseArlington Park, Arlington Heights, Illinois horse woman expert

 

  • 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 Your Mane Track

 

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

Keeneland Race Track, Lexington, KY Janice L. Blake coach

 

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

Eddie Woods, Ocala, Florida coach life transformational

 

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

Janice L. Blake Tampa Bay Downs Stakes

Janice L. Blake Tampa Bay Downs, Florida Friendly Goose

 

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

Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland

 

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

Janice L. Blake Tampa Bay Downs Stakes Your Mane Track Coach

 

 

 

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

D. Wayne Lukas Racing Stables horses racing

 

  • 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 Exercise Thoroughbred HorsesThe Big M Meadowlands Race Track Thoroughbred Horses

 

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

Aqueduct Race Track, South Ozone Park, NY Janice L. Blake

 

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

Monmouth Park, Long Branch, New Jersey Janice L. Blake

 

  • 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 Bensalem, PA Janice L. Blake Horses

Atlantic City Race Course Atlantic City, New Jersey Your Mane TrackJanice L. Blake Belmont Park Exercise Thoroughbred Horses Charles Town Races Charles Town, West Virginia Janice L. BlakeColonial Downs Virginia Janice L. Blake jockey authorDelaware Park Stanton, Delaware author speakerFinger Lakes Canandaigua, New York horses racingGarden State Park, Cherry Hill, New Jersey coach animalsHoosier Park Racing Horse Equipment horses animalsLAUREL Park, Laurel, Maryland Janice L. Blake jockey femaleMonmouth Park Long Branch, New Jersey Janice L. Blake horsesPenn National Grant, Pennsylvania coach transformational intuition Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland coach intuitive motivationalPresque Isle Erie, Pennsylvania Janice L. Blake coach intuition feng shuiJanice L. Blake Saratoga Springs, New York Spa Travers Triple Crown BaezaJanice L. Blake Tampa Bay Downs Stakes horse racing motivational

  • 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.

Hoosier Park Anderson, Indiana horse animal cat dog Parx Racing Bensalem, Pennsylvania Horse cat dog animal

 

  • Then I was invited to Brazil to participate in their Ladies Day Tournament for each of 4 years. I finished second in 2013 and won a race in 2015.

 

Hipodromo do Cristal Rio Grande Do Sol Brasil caballo Janice L. Blake BaezaJanice L. Blake Brasil Tournament Ladies Racing Female Jockey

 

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

Statue of Liberty Shield Horses Coach Transformational jockey