Fogelsonger Debuts on MTV Reality Series

Edited Maryland Jockey Club release

Add Ryan Fogelsonger to the list of reality television stars when the 24-year-old rider stars in True Life: I Want the Perfect Body II. The one-hour documentary will air July 7 at 10 p.m. with repeats July 8 (10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.), July 9 (9 a.m. and 5 p.m.) and July 10 at 4 p.m. The show also features a teenage strongman and female fitness expert.

From mid-December to Preakness day, a crew from MTV visited Fogelsonger seven times, including six stops at either Pimlico Race Course or Laurel Park to chronicle the 2002 Eclipse Award winning apprentice as he tried to add eight pounds of muscle to his 104-pound frame.

Having never ridden a horse until after graduating from high school in 1999, Fogelsonger has quickly climbed the ranks in the industry with mounts in the Preakness Stakes and Breeders' Cup. In less than 40 months as a jockey, Fogelsonger has 858 career victories from 4,150 mounts with earnings of $16.8 million and nine riding titles on his resume. MTV selected him during an interview process last fall that included 50 top young riders.

"I'm very happy with the show and it was very well received at MTV," said producer Pat Lope. "I couldn't have had a better time shooting with Ryan. The only unfortunate aspect is that our show can only be 43 minutes long (without the commercials) so there is so much that had to be cut out. Ryan is such a great people-person, I think the audience will have an easy time relating to him and will definitely enjoy his segments."

During the six-month taping period, Fogelsonger suffered two serious spills, including one where he injured his back and spent an afternoon at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Unit. Because of the injuries, he missed 31 of the first 109 days of racing during the winter and spring meetings.

"I can't wait to see the final product," said Fogelsonger. "It was quite an experience. I have done plenty of TV interviews, but having someone follow me around was different. I feel like I let them down a little bit by not gaining the weight but because of the spills I had to stop working out. I am extremely honored they picked me for this project. I talked to the producer last week and know he included that into the show as well as all the excitement of Preakness weekend."

"The jockey's lifestyle is fascinating," added Lope. "I wish I could have included more of Ryan's story, but because the focus of this show had to be very body oriented, I couldn't go into as much detail about the actual racing, and the business behind the racing that I would have liked to. This show is going to be seen by millions of people, many of whom know nothing about horseracing, so hopefully it will open a lot of people's eyes, especially the younger audience."

Since its initial episode in 1998, MTV's award-winning True Life has told remarkable real-life stories of young people and the unusual subcultures they inhabit. Perfect Body is one of five shows in the True Life series.