Documentary Profiles Female Jockeys

Feature will focus on female riders; Emmy Award-winning producer to oversee

A feature-length documentary about female jockeys is in production and targeted to launch in 2009, the California-based Innerview Entertainment announced Feb. 28. In association with Ellman Entertainment, Innerview is backing the film, entitled "Jock," from director/producer Jason Neff and Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Ellman.

According to a press release from producer/director Neff, Jock will "peel back the brightly colored silks and race day pageantry of the Sport of Kings, revealing the dangerous world of Thoroughbred horse racing by telling the story of the female jockeys who waged a gallant fight for the right to ride. From race-wining thrills to career-ending spills, Jock is the story of these courageous female athletes."

Patti "P.J." Cooksey, the second all-time leading female jockey, stated in the release, “This documentary will go a long way in teaching young women perseverance in the face of adversity.”

The film will feature well-known female jockeys such as Mary Bacon, who broke more than 50 bones, posed nude in Playboy, and was a KKK sympathizer; Robyn Smith, the Hollywood starlet turned jockey, who rode for Alfred Vanderbilt and later married Fred Astaire; and Barbara Joe Rubin, the first woman to win against men and who won half of her first 22 races.  

“These stories have never been told. They deserve attention,” said Ellman, who directed and produced “On Native Soil: The Documentary of the the 911 Commission Report,” which made the short list for an Oscar nomination.

The documentary’s Web site, launched Feb. 28 with a "goal greater than describing the film," according to the release. Said Neff, “We’re hoping to create an online internet community where anybody associated with these historic events can share their stories and help us locate female jockeys that haven’t been heard from in decades.”

The production team is searching for any photographs, film, video, and other memorabilia that may pertain to those featured in the movie.