Chris McCarron Riding Instructor
Tuesday August 8, 2006
In a riding career that spanned 28 years, Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron won two Eclipse Awards, rode the winners in six Triple Crown classics and nine Breeders' Cup races, and numbered among his achievements being the first jockey to pass the $200 million mark in earnings. After retiring with more than 7,000 winners (currently 6th all-time) and just over $260 million in purses won, Chris remained in his adopted Southern California homeland as general manager of Santa Anita Park and vice president of Industry Relations for Magna Entertainment Corp., before relocating to central Kentucky to pursue a longtime dream of establishing a U.S.-based school for jockeys and other racetrack workers.
Today, the man who rode such legendary winners as Alysheba, Sunday Silence, John Henry, Paseana, Precisionist, Lady's Secret, Flawlessly, Glorious Song, Turkoman, Bayakoa, Northern Spur, Storm Cat, and Tiznow serves as executive director and lead instructor of the North American Riding Academy.
With a campus located at Lexington's Kentucky Horse Park and an affiliation with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, the NARA offers a two-year, six-semester program of accredited courses that are eligible for credit toward degrees offered by KCTCS-affiliated colleges and universities and includes classes that cover everything from introductory courses in equine anatomy and physiology to the principles of riding skills while providing students with an understanding of various components of the Thoroughbred industry from breeding practices to industry relations.
Thank you so much for taking our questions. I have always loved Lady's Secret. Please tell us what it was like to ride her. Was she very different from the colts?
Before I begin, let me thank all of you who have written in to ask questions. I really enjoy bringing a jockey's insight to the fans. Thanks for your participation. Lady's Secret was awesome! She brought a very tough attitude with her into every race...
Hackensack, New Jersey
During your career, you rode a lot of outstanding horses, but if you could give only one answer, who was the greatest of them all?
ALYSHEBA...I don't think we saw how good he truly was. He liked to play around when he was in a race. He was just becoming more mature during his four-year old season and then went to stud. He would have been an UNBELIEVABLE five year old.
To read the complete transcript of this chat, along with many others, check out Best of Talkiní Horses.
Best of Talkin’ Horses features provocative “chats” with some of Thoroughbred racing’s most prominent names. Adapted from “Talkin’ Horses,” the popular weekly online chat series hosted by Bloodhorse.com, this edited collection provides additional insights by Ron Mitchell, editor and moderator of “Talkin’ Horses."
Editor's Note: BloodHorse.com moderators retain editorial control over Talkin' Horses discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests; guests may decline to answer questions. Opinions expressed by guests of Talkin' Horses are those of the guest and do not represent the opinions of Blood-Horse Publications, its employees, associates, or affiliated organizations. Guests, dates, and times of Talkin' Horses discussions are subject to change.