Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jockey World: Helping make dreams a reality

A guest post by Kayla Jarvinen

Most of you reading this are likely racing fans, or, at the very least, attracted to the sport in some capacity for one reason or another. And what a wonderful sport it is; not without its share of positives and negatives of course, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another quite like it. If you are a racing fan however, or one seeking to get into the industry, you’ve probably also noticed that a majority of your every day acquaintances do not share your passion or even interest for it – they may in fact, even criticize it – and information is not readily available, especially the kind needed to pursue a career in horse racing. There are plenty of news sources out there to keep you up-to-date on the day-to-day going-ons in racing but very few resources if you’d like to learn more. It can be extremely frustrating. But thanks to the efforts of a few individuals determined to change that, it’s becoming easier. One such resource is Jockey World.

Founded in the spring of 2011, Jockey World was created by former Eclipse Award winning jockey and creator of the Equicizer, Frank Lovato, Jr. Jockey World is an interactive website that offers a wide variety of information, guidance, helpful tips and videos, as well as entertainment for people of all ages. Frankie and his partner, Fred Clemons, constantly come up with new ideas as they continue to expand Jockey World and have already created a large selection of tools, including an extensive range of forums containing topics ranging from riding to training and other jobs on the backside, to health and nutrition and much more.

One informative and entertaining tool they’ve developed is the weekly Jockey World Radio Show, which airs every Sunday at 4pm Eastern Time and is one of my favorite parts of the week. The guests we’ve had range from former jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. to singer/songwriter Templeton Thompson. The shows are archived as well, which makes it easy to go back and listen later. There are contests (we just recently finished a 2012 photo calendar contest), short weekly videos, and a Jockey World store which contains some really cool stuff and even more resources created to help you. These are only a few of the things Jockey World offers.

I have to say, personally, watching Jockey World unfold from a brand new site with maybe a half dozen members to what it is today, it simply amazes me how far they’ve taken it in such a short amount of time! There are so many different people on there – all either in the industry, looking to get in like myself, or just huge fans, and it’s very easy to connect with everyone; and they are all more than willing to tell you about their experiences and offer advice. It’s turned into one big support system, and if you’re having a rough day, there’s always a friend there to help. Many of the people I now talk to the most, I met through Jockey World!

Some of the others tools they have come out with include a program called Jockey World Academy; as you know, there are many aspects to racing, and the Academy’s been a great tool to not only show me specifically what I don’t know yet but then also to help me learn it! Being homeschooled on top of it, I’ve had the benefit of being able to incorporate the Academy work into school credits, which is pretty neat. There is a subscribing option for the site too and I’d recommend any who are serious about wanting to learn more about horse racing to consider it – whether you’re a fan or someone actively working to get in, or already in, the business. Not only will you have access to a wider selection of forum topics but there are numerous other perks as well, including additional time with the experts and Frankie himself.

I wish I could put into words what Jockey World means to me and how much it has helped me but I haven’t yet figured out how to do so. I don’t think it’s possible really. It’s a community. An incredible one. And I’m so proud to be a small part of it!

So please, take a few minutes, and check out I look forward to meeting you all very soon!

About Kayla:
I am 17-years-old, homeschooled, and working hard to wrap up my schooling to graduate high school. I'm going to be a jockey and over the coming year will be taking the next steps needed as I get closer to making that a reality. I'm excited to see what the year will bring both in that aspect and also as the incredible community on Jockey World continues to grow and get better each day! See Kayla's previous post here.

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