Jenn Springer Patterson ’03 is exercise rider of Derby champ
Gettysburg alumna prepares horse with Triple Crown potential
“Do great work.” One has to wonder if Jenn Springer Patterson ’03 has been whispering this Gettysburg College motto into the ear of Orb, the horse that captured the national spotlight and hearts of sports fans everywhere by winning the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
Patterson serves as the exercise rider of Orb, a role where she logs hundreds of hours aboard the champion carrying out conditioning plans. Her efforts, essential to Orb’s success, helped propel the horse to a 2 minute 2.89 second race time and the ceremonial garland of roses at Churchill Downs.
“While I was in College, I thought I would have been doing something else,” said Patterson, who graduated from Gettysburg with a degree in management, but never strayed far from the stables.
While pursuing her undergrad, she worked alongside trainer Ricky Hendricks during summer breaks and rode flat races on the jumps circuit—satisfying a passion she’s had for riding since receiving her first pony at the age of 3.
“I love waking up in the morning and coming to a job like this, working with these kind of horses, and the good people I get to work with.”
One special person to Patterson is renowned trainer Shug McGaugery. As McGaugery’s assistant, she not only gets to regularly workout Orb, but also many other of the sport’s elite equine athletes, including multiple Grade I winner Point of Entry and Virginia Derby titleholder Air Support.
“It is a lot of fun. I have learned a lot from Shug,” Patterson said. “He is a very good guy who takes very good care of his help. He is very easy to work for and to work with. I do not feel like I work for him as much as I feel like I work with him, which is really nice.”
Article derived from the New York Post, ESPN, and DelawarePark.com. Photos from Newsday, ESPN, and Yahoo News.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Mike Baker, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6521.
Posted: Thu, 16 May 2013
Next on your reading list
Share this story: