Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Profile

Kathy Kusner

First Licensed Female Jockey

More From Kathy

In this video

In this MAKERS interview, trailblazing female jockey Kathy Kusner talks about growing up with a love for horses, her journey from working the stables to competing in the Olympics, and how she fought to become the first woman to earn a jockey's license.

Kathy's Biography

Parents:Mother was teacher and father was in the Air Force.
Stable Duty:Earned $2 in the afternoon and $4 on a Sunday.
The First Horse Show: "The poster said, 'Bailey's Crossroads Horse Shoe on Saturday,' and I went." Bartering System:Traded her horse skills for flying lessons and eventually became a licensed pilot.

Kathy Kusner is a pioneering jockey who became the first licensed female jockey in the U.S. Growing up, Kusner couldn't afford a horse of her own, but she worked in stables so that she could spend as much time as possible with horses, learning to ride along the way. In 1972, she had not only competed in her third summer Olympic games, but also became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic medal in show jumping for the U.S. Equestrian team. When Kusner's bid for a license to ride in flat races was denied by the Maryland Commission, Kusner hired a lawyer and brought her case to court. The court ruled in her favor.

Related Videos

Vivian Stringer
Vivian Stringer
Champion College Basketball Coach

“Work hard and don’t look for excuses, and you can achieve anything.” This was the lesson that legendary college basketball coach, Vivian Stringer, learned from ...

Yang Lan
Yang Lan
Co-Founder & Chairperson, Sun Media Group

Yang Lan learned from her resilient grandmother the strength of women and has been using media to show that strength ever since. She made a name for herself as a TV talk show host ...

Marlo Thomas
Marlo Thomas

Marlo Thomas is an award-winning actress, author and activist whose body of work continues to have an impact on American entertainment and culture. She burst onto the scene as the...

Dee Dee Myers
Dee Dee Myers
Political Analyst

Dee Dee Myers is a groundbreaking political analyst and former White House press secretary. After graduating from Santa Clara University, Dee Dee Myers took on a full-time role on...