The Question: Race tracks in France are experimenting with women jockeys. Would you bet on a girl jockey?

June 26, 1955

LT. GEN. BLACKSHEAR M. BRYAN JR.
Superintendent U.S. Military Academy,
West Point
"Yes. There are many fine women riders. They often beat the top men riders in the National Horse Show, where control of the horse is perhaps more important than in racing. And some jockeys frankly admit that they often feel they are just along for the ride."

BYNNER MARTIN, San Pedro, Calif.
News-Pilot
Publisher
"You bet I would. Women have a way of winning more often than they lose. I've bet on women all my life. I've bet on my mother, my grandmother, my aunts and my wife. I've won every time. Sure, I'd bet on a girl jockey, but pul-leeze give her a good horse like Swaps to ride."

OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II, Doylestown, Pa.
Theatrical Producer
"Certainly. If a girl is good enough to qualify as a jockey and is riding a good horse, why not? But there might be more chance for a 'fix,' if there are such things, because I expect gallantry even among male jockeys. That would be all the more reason for betting on the girl jockey."

JIMMY KILROE
Official handicapper of Belmont Park
"Not against male jockeys. Women have excellent hands, but they don't have the strength in their arms for a strong finish. If they had equal opportunities to ride, perhaps they could, in time, vie with men. Horses work more willingly for women. That's why women do most show riding."

C. M. STANLEY, Muscatine, Iowa
President United World Federalists
"Yes. A woman has a better chance competing against men in a horse race than she has in any other sport. Women jockeys would add a lot of color to racing. That's probably why the French are trying it. My wife claims that I would be more apt to bet on a horse if a woman jockey were up."

TEX O'ROURKE, New York
Humorist
"Yes. I've bet on girl jockeys many times. In 1926, I brought Georges Carpentier, the great French heavyweight, to the West Coast to try and arrange a bout. We went to the races at Tijuana. Two girl jockeys raced against five men. We bet on one of the girls and won."

DON SPENCER, New York
President Don Spencer
Advertising Agency
"No. Horse racing is no different from auto racing, baseball, etc. Women just do not have the final drive needed for competition against men. You might bet on them for fun, but you'd never win. You never do when you bet on a woman. It's the same old admonition, 'Never bet on a woman.' "

GEN. CARLOS ROMULO
Special Envoy of the President of the Philippines
"That depends on her record. Some women are better riders than men. A big mistake men make is underestimating women. When women make up their minds to do something, they generally succeed. Since colts are faster than fillies, a good colt might be unbeatable with a girl jockey."

ADMIRAL JERAULD WRIGHT, USN
Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic Fleet
"In the Navy, we don't ride horses. You should pose that question to a cavalryman. But shrewd bettors bet on the jockey as much as they do on the horse. So I'd have no hesitation placing a friendly wager on a horse ridden by a girl jockey. If she lost—well, how often do you win in a horse race?"

BOB KELLEY, N.Y.
Racing Association
Publicity Director
"No. Women are not strong enough. Race horses are trained like prize fighters. They are very strong and trained for one purpose—speed. A jockey has to have great strength to hold a horse and not give away speed before the final sprint at the finish of a race. Jockeys must have arms of steel."

FRENCHY SCHWARTZ, New Orleans
Official clocker
Daily Racing Form
"Perhaps. I've seen girls gallop horses. They did a very good job. Mickey Welsh's daughter rode the mile in the creditable time of 1 minute 40½ seconds. At Agua Caliente, girl jockeys have been tried in the 'Powder Puff Derby.' Girl jockeys would add a lot of interest and color to racing."

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