Monday, 22 October 2012

Shergar Cup Jockey Chantal Sutherland Retires

The moment has come where I have decided to announce my retirement from being a professional jockey; I almost can’t believe it myself. I’m not sad, but rather looking at another opportunity to begin a new chapter in my life. Looking ahead, I’m excited about new challenges and new opportunities that life has in store for me.

Horse racing has been my life for the past 14 years. I’ve reached many of the goals that I set for myself. I’ve lived out many of the dreams I had as a little girl, back when I was riding my pony, mucking stalls, feeding cows, aspiring to finally become a professional jockey and racing in stakes races on a worldwide stage. I’m so very blessed and grateful of the life that I have lived and career that I’ve had.

This past year or so has been so amazing it’s actually overwhelming having to put it to words. I crossed paths with a horse that happened to change my life. That horse is named Game On Dude and what a horse! He’s a soldier. Together we travelled the world. We won the Santa Anita Big Cap, Goodwood, almost won the Breeder’s Cup Classic; we won the San Antonio, Hollywood Gold Cup, and the Californian. We travelled to Dubai and raced in the world’s richest race, the Dubai Duty Free World Cup. As if that wasn’t enough, I was asked to be the poster girl for Santa Anita and Del Mar racetracks, and had my picture on billboards and magazine covers. I can’t even describe how flattering that is. Another honor for me was being asked to represent Canada and the USA in a worldwide jockey challenge in England, titled The Shergar Cup. To top it all off, I was also able to win on my brother’s horse “Awesome Fire” in the Whonder Where stakes. In an ironic twist of fate, my dad, who started me off in this crazy love affair with horses, is also the proud owner of the last racehorse I will ride.

In the last year I also met and married the man of my dreams. It’s been a whirlwind. I’ve never really had weekends or holidays off, I’ve always spent so much time racing or focused and preparing for racing. Racing takes so much determination, guts, and sacrifice to be on top. I once craved, lived, and breathed racing. I can honestly say now, I’m ready to slow down and enjoy my life. Maybe I’ll cut loose and have a cheeseburger or some pizza. Those types of indulgencies are not allowed, when you constantly have to monitor your weight. Racing is so much hard work and takes so much mental toughness; I can honestly say that I’ve had enough.

I will forever miss my fans. They were always giving me encouragement and making me feel special and successful. I’ve made so many memories and good friends along the way that I can’t even begin to describe. I want to give a special thanks to my agents, valets, and everyone else in this industry that has stood by me.

So now, with the support of my husband, family, and friends I am ending one chapter in my life and starting a new one. I’m excited about my future and the challenges it will bring. I enjoy working hard and striving to achieve goals, so who knows; maybe you will see me pop up somewhere soon.


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