The ingenuity of that seemingly basic lesson is hard for many to master in life. Whether it be falling from a horse, or simply falling in love, most people yearn for the glory of the ride with little thought on the dangers of falling.
However, falling is just as much a soulful journey as riding, perhaps even more so than the ride itself. After every fall, there is a victory for the strong souls who pick themselves up, brush themselves off and get back to riding with a drive that denies defeat a chance to leave its’ mark.
As the second most winning female jockey of all-time in North America, Rosemary Homeister, Jr., has mastered the old riding proverb with her steel-driving determination to continue to get back up and ride beyond a fall. With both of her parents having been jockeys when she was a child, it must be in the genes.
In the wake of two major spills during this meet at Arlington, Homeister just keeps going, despite suffering a concussion in her first fall during a race on June 19, 2013.
That day, “Rahab Your Soul,” a four-year-old filly, jumped the inner turf rail, dismounting Homeister, who was riding third in an eight-horse field. She explains, “All I remember was her hitting the rail and then I remember waking up in the hospital.” As for the filly, Homeister was quick to say, “The horse had a cut on her shoulder and should heal quickly.”
Less than a month later, Homeister returned, riding the same filly, in a race on July 14, 2013. And, although the pair didn’t end up in the winner’s circle on that outing, they were back to riding – a victory in itself.
Yet, five days later, Homeister’s mount, Between Dreams, clipped heels during a race on July 19, 2013. After being rushed to the hospital from the fall, Homeister learned that she had suffered a tendon injury in her right arm that would take weeks away from riding.
But, as the proverb goes, a rider has to master the art of falling if they want to ride again. And, with over 2,600 victories as a jockey in her career, Homeister has proven her place among winning riders in this sport.
Yet, in two spills, she’s also proven that there is something to be achieved through falling. As Homeister recovers to ride again in the coming weeks, she “falls” back into a routine with her little girl, Victoria, that has spanned three generations of women in her family – the routine of a falling in love with this sport.