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Jockey Chantal Sutherland retires from horse racing

Chantal Sutherland9:16PM EDT October 21. 2012 – Jockey Chantal Sutherland, one of the winningest female jockeys of all time, announced her retirement from horse-racing on Sunday.

The Canadian jockey, 36, rode her final two races at Woodbine in Toronto on Sunday, and went 0-for-2. She ranks second behind Francine Villaneuve among Canadian female jockeys in victories. Villeneuve won 1001 in her career.

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According to Equibase, Sutherland won 931 races from 7,350 career mounts and had purse earnings of more than $47 million during a 13-year career.

Sutherland, who became the first woman to win the Santa Anita Handicap in 2010, and the Hollywood Gold Cup this year, both aboard Game on Dude, made the announcement in a statement:

“The moment has come where I have decided to announce my retirement from being a professional jockey; I almost can’t believe it myself. I’m not sad, but rather looking at another opportunity to begin a new chapter in my life.

” Looking ahead, I’m excited about new challenges and new opportunities that life has in store for me. Horse racing has been my life for the past 14 years. I’ve reached many of the goals that I set for myself. I’ve lived out many of the dreams I had as a little girl, back when I was riding my pony, mucking stalls, feeding cows, aspiring to finally become a professional jockey and racing in stakes races on a worldwide stage.

“I crossed paths with a horse that happened to change my life. That horse is Game On Dude and what a horse! He’s a soldier. Together we traveled the world. We won the Santa Anita Big Cap, Goodwood, almost won the Breeder’s Cup Classic; we won the San Antonio, Hollywood Gold Cup, and the Californian. We raced in the world’s richest race, the Dubai Duty Free World Cup.

“As if that wasn’t enough, I was asked to be the poster girl for Santa Anita and Del Mar racetracks, and had my picture on billboards and magazine covers. I can’t even describe how flattering that is. Another honor for me was being asked to represent Canada and the USA in a worldwide jockey challenge in England, titled The Shergar Cup. To top it all off, I was also able to win on my brother’s horse “Awesome Fire” in the Whonder Where stakes.”

Sutherland, known as much for her beauty as for her ability to ride, said she got married this year and wants to slow down and enjoy life. She became best known for her role in the short-lived HBO series Luck, which centered on the horse-racing industry but was canceled after the death of a few horses during filming. She also appeared in the reality series Jockeys., and did a photo spread in Vogue Magazine.

One Comment

  1. Bart says:

    Chantal (and Dan),

    As a former coach, and rabid sports fan, I’ve seen all too often athletes staying beyond their time. You’re stepping away when you are still as competitive as you want to be. However, as you’ve indicated, horse racing is different than many sports because of its inherent danger. You’ve gone through your career essentially unscathed as far as I know and because of that you have the ability to fully enjoy Dan as well as your families and friends. It had to be a tough decision but the smart one. Often athletes think what they’re known for is their life but what’s in front of you now is really your life. Money doesn’t mean much without your health and your health doesn’t mean much without folks to do things with. You have both. I’m sure you’ll find your nitch doing something soon but you brought a lot to SoCal racing. I’m not sure people in the racing world totally understand that. Best wishes to you both!

    Bart

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