Newsletter

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

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
Champion Race Car Driver

Danica Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, and is one of the most famous and recognized female athletes in the world. She is the only...

Sarah Weddington
Sarah Weddington
Roe v. Wade Attorney

Sarah Weddington stepped into the national spotlight when she successfully argued the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, at the tender age of 26. The daughter of a Methodist...

Faith Ringgold
Faith Ringgold
Artist & Activist

Faith Ringgold is one of America’s most gifted and generous visual storytellers. Though originally trained as a painter, she has worked to superb effect across media. Ringgol...

Eleanor Holmes Norton
Eleanor Holmes Norton
U.S. Congresswoman, District of Columbia

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her twelfth term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, knew from a young age she wanted to make change to end the severe se...