How has motherhood changed how you ride?
Now that I am a mom, I always want to be able to ride for her, for whatever she needs in her life. I just want to be the best I can be. I want to show her women can do anything. I want her to see her mommy can work, can be a great mom, play with her, teach her things. I want her to see that she’s capable of doing anything in life. How it’s changed my riding, I have become very strong mentally to want to be more successful than I am. I don’t let the little things get to me anymore. I live in the moment now instead of thinking so far in the future because I want to enjoy every moment with my daughter. (In the winner’s circle, when Homeister gets off her horse, Victoria will put her hands on her mom’s cheeks and say, “Mama, I’m so proud of you.”)
What’s it like to be in a still very male-dominated career? Did you get treated differently when you became a mom?
I am a jockey. You are competing on equal ground. It is a very competitive sport and it’s very hard for most men to get beat by a woman. We just all want to win. As a woman, I am just focused on being a jockey. You have to keep learning every day. That’s how I look at life. I try to keep my mind focused and ride race by race. I want to teach my daughter that you can’t dwell on the past, to keep moving forward and learning. In racing we just keep moving forward and turning left.
What has been the best moment you’ve had as a mom?
Every moment. The day she was born, when they pulled her out and just put her on my belly, feeling that amazing feeling that you’ve never felt such a love in your life. I was just ‘Oh my God!’ All I could say is ‘thank you God for a beautiful healthy baby.’
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.
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