THE LADY IS A JOCK by Lynn Haney


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They're a rare and special breed these jocks without jockstraps. Since '69 when the sex barrier was broken on the track about 60 women have turned to professional, competitive riding. Women like Mary Bacon who, so far, has sustained a broken back, collarbone, several ribs, both hands, both feet, a punctured lung and multiple concussions -- only to head straight from the hospital back to the track. Haney close-ups several of the best and the scrappiest of the women jockeys and gets the authentic feel of some pretty battered lives. Mary Bacon who once jumped topless out of cakes and says candidly ""I'll do anything to win"" is her star but there are others. Robyn Smith, ""The Bitch,"" who rode her way to the Big A where she competes with the likes of Cordero and Velasquez; Peggy Barton who supports three kids by riding the big nags; Barbara Jo Rubin, the first to hit the big time, who quit after a broken pelvis and a weight problem stopped her cold. Haney has achieved an unusually candid look at their tough, ballsy lives on and off the track. Most of them can be, have to be, as mean and foul-mouthed as their male cohorts; as a rule they're high school drop-outs, wayward girls from broken homes. Without exception they love horses with an ardor which approaches monomania while men tend to be only ""peripheral."" Their entree into this intensely masculine world was bitterly resisted -- the girls tell of being attacked with fists and horsewhips -- and they gave as good as they got. Haney admires their guts, stamina and endurance but doesn't try to prettify their hard-knocks lives. A very honest look behind the flashing colors. And not just for sports fans.

Pub Date: Dec. 3rd, 1973
Publisher: Dodd, Mead