Danielle Johnson’s blog – exclusive to Race Café

Danielle Johnson’s blog – exclusive to Race Café

Working in this industry can be tough. The early starts, the long hours. Did I mention the early starts? This industry is a community and we are brought together by what we love. Horses.

I was riding horses before I could walk. You could say that is definitely in the blood. It’s a sport that you’re mostly born and bred into. Although, it’s cool when you see young people coming into stables looking for jobs because they want to learn about the industry.

Some could say that with all the help I had, I was expected to be better than average and others might say that I was to forever live in my Father’s shadow. My Dad, Peter Johnson. I’m pretty sure great things were expected from me and being a woman sometimes felt I had twice as much to prove.

I think I proved myself when I won the Karaka Million. That was an absolute career highlight. I battled with the best and came out on top.

Winning the Karaka Million was such a great thrill, especially being the first female to win the race. In saying that, it’s great that female and male jockeys are on an equal playing field in New Zealand – we’ve come so far over the past 20 years.

The hardest part of the job for me is the constant travel. I’ve been a jockey for about 10 years now and that’s definitely the hardest part. I’m lucky that I don’t have to sweat because I’m naturally petite but I take my hat off to those who work hard to get their weight down to meet the requirements.

I’ve had a long day at Cambridge trials today and I rode some promising mounts.

I’m looking forward to this racing season and to see what it holds for me.

Johnson out.