- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - As a new mom, apprentice jockey Ashley Broussard says she knows how dangerous her line of work is. But she also needs to make money to support her 4-month-old son, and one of the things she is best at is riding racehorses.

The Courier-Journal reports (https://cjky.it/1ggobHp) the 22-year-old ranked among Penn National’s leading riders when she became pregnant last year. Nausea and fainting spells forced her to quit riding before she might have otherwise.

Broussard didn’t plan to return to the racetrack after Bentley Kofalt was born on March 14. But then she needed a job. While she was pregnant she had worked booking tee times at a golf course and walking horses at the New Orleans Fair Grounds.

“I went from making a lot of money to barely anything,” Broussard said.

As a single mother, her decision came down to this: “Do I go and struggle and work 12 hours a day for minimum wage? Or do I go back on the racetrack and do both: be a good mom and make a lot and doing something that I love?”

In a first, she was granted a 159-day extension of her apprenticeship by the Kentucky stewards because she was unable to ride due to pregnancy. Being an apprentice permits her to carry between five and 10 pounds fewer than otherwise required, a concession designed to encourage horsemen to use inexperienced riders.

Her extension began June 3, the day Broussard resumed riding. She won her first race two days after her return.

“Ten days after Bentley was born, if you’d asked, I’d have sworn I’d never ride a race again,” Broussard said. “I got back on that first racehorse and started galloping, and then they let me work one the next week. Then the next day I was on two, and by the end of the week I was on six already - and I never got sore.”

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com


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