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MAKERS Moment

1950s Virginia

1950s Virginia

More From Kathy

In this video

Kathy Kusner, the first licensed female jockey, talks about segregation and racism within her industry in the 1950s.

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.
 

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