I first met Marlo Dunn in 2009 when she was working as a groom for Mel Snow and living in a tack room in the Hastings backside. Last fall, she started as an apprentice rider (or a “bug”—a term first given because of the way asterisk that appears besides a new jockey’s name). This past Saturday, she won her second race of the season on an eight-year-old gelding named Forceful Intention.
OTB: How did you get into horses?
MD: I started riding horses when I was five. I saw a horse when I was four and told my dad, “I want a pony.” You know, like every little girl. And he told me I needed to finish a year of gymnastics to prove that I could commit to something.
OTB: What’s the biggest transition been to being a jockey?
OTB: Has there been anything that’s surprised you about racing a horse versus just exercising it.
MD: Just everything it takes to run a perfect race. When I used to watch a race, I used to call out the jockeys for making mistakes; I regret doing that now. Everything happens so quickly.
OTB: How have the other jockeys been around you? Have they been helpful or nice?
MD: Definitely. I thought they would be angrier at me when I screwed up, but that hasn’t happened. I’m getting a lot of advice from all the riders.
OTB: Do you have any favourite riders across North America?
OTB: You worked with horses in Australia a couple of years back. Do you have any plans to ride in any tracks outside of Hastings?
MD: Vancouver is my home, and I don’t make plans so far ahead, but I’d like to ride in a winter track during the offseason. I wouldn’t want to go four or five months without racing.
OTB: Have you been able to make a living solely as an apprentice rider?
MD: No, I’m still exercising horses in the morning. I haven’t quit my day job.