Being a jockey has always been my dream. I love horses and horse racing. I always wanted to be like my father, jockey Agapito Delgadillo.
My first step towards my dream was once I turned fifteen. My dad took me with him to El Paso, TX. While he was riding at Sunland Park, I was galloping horses at a nearby ranch. After that I went back to California and got my galloper license. I galloped in Santa Anita Park, Hollywood Park and even got to gallop at Del Mar. It felt great knowing I was one step closer to my dream.
I then moved to San Francisco and was galloping at Golden Gate Fields. It seemed like I was ready and decided it was time to get my apprentice license.
I debuted at Portland Meadows and, although I didn’t get my win, I gained experience that I believe is helping me a lot now that I’m riding here at Golden Gate Fields.
Being a jockey is not easy. You are riding an animal that weights 10 times more than you. You also have to maintain a specific weight and as an apprentice jockey it is even harder because we have to weigh less than a regular jockey. We are also risking our lives out there.
I had my first spill two weeks ago and although I had already gone down while galloping, its nothing compared to when you’re actually riding in a race. Everything happens extremely fast. Thank God nothing major happened to me but it sure does hurt a lot. I was in pain and really sore for the next three days.
Many asked me, “do you still want to ride?,” especially my mother. My answer was and will always be “yes.” It hurts and yes it’s dangerous but the passion I have for horse racing is bigger than anything.
I got my first career win last Sunday at Golden Gate Fields and I have to say it was the best feeling ever. When you really want something you have to work hard to accomplish it. Many would tell me that I was not going to make it, that I was taller than my father and it was going to be hard for me. But there were also those people that believed in me like my parents and sisters. I never gave up and thanks to God, my dedication and to all the ones that supported me, I have accomplished my goal.
Of course this is just the beginning of my career, there are still many more goals to accomplish like making the Eclipse Awards, going to the Kentucky Derby, being leading jockey at top tracks and riding in the same race as my father. I have been doing all this while still trying to finish my high school diploma. Horse racing is my passion and as long as God lets me I will accomplish all my goals.
We thank Jose for writing this journal entry for DanonymousRacing.com
You can follow Jose on Twitter at @Jos3_Delgadillo