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

Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin
Professor of Animal Science

Temple Grandin is world-famous for using insights gained from her autism to revolutionize the livestock industry. A professor at Colorado State for more than 20 years, Grandin is a...

Bethany Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton
Professional Surfer

Born into a family of surfers in Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany Hamilton has been surfing almost as long as she has been walking. Entering her first competition around age four, and sponso...

Judith Jamison
Judith Jamison
Artistic Director Emerita, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Dancer and choreographer Judith Jamison joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and over the next 15 years, originated some of Mr. Ailey's most enduring roles, most n...

Robin Morgan
Robin Morgan
Writer & Feminist Activist

Bras were not burned outside the Miss America pageant in September of 1968. Instead, they--along with other items symbolizing the constraints placed on women--were tossed ritualist...