WHAT THEY SAY: Trevor McKenzie - RACEHORSE JOCKEY

Friday, March 16, 2018

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When did you start your career as a jockey?

When I was a little boy, my sister took me to Knutsford Park and from I saw the horses and the jockeys, I said to myself that I wanted to become a jockey. After that they left Knutsford Park and came to Caymanas Park, but I didn't go to Caymanas Park for a very long while, about four to five years, and I forgot everything about wanting to become a jockey. Then one Friday evening I went to Old Harbour to visit my father and I saw a little lad riding a horse and I had begged him a ride and when I got up on the horse, it felt like it was natural for me. And so, I decided to take up riding. I started to learn to in 1963 in June and started to ride January 1964, but I didn't ride for long as weight problems derailed my career. Although not winning a Derby, I won the jockey's championship three times. I won the championship in 1965, 1966 and 1968 and so I have no regrets with how everything turned out.

Which horse was your first winner?

My first winner was with a horse by the name of Puzzle for my father (Reggie McKenzie) over seven furlongs. I couldn't sleep that night when I won my first race as it was just all excitement for me as well as celebration. Even now I still remember with a lot of pride the time when I won my first time — a truly special and memorable moment.

Which horse was your longest odds winner?

Don't remember the longest odds. It was a very long time ago. I don't remember the longest odds winner. But winning races is always good and I was always happy when I won races at whatever level as the aim of all jockeys is to be at the winning post in front.

Which is the best horse you have ridden?

Without a doubt it is the talented Rameses. He ended up being one of the best horses in Jamaica. Rameses was a very talented horse. I broke his maiden and the next time he ran I took a horse by the name of Mary Poppins and beat him, but Rameses was truly a magnificent horse.

Which is the best horse you have seen race at Caymanas Park?

In my time there were many good horses on the track, but I would have to say Blusterous. When I left I heard that they had some great horses there, but in my time it was Blusterous. He was a good horse with a lot of potential and heart which he displayed every time he went on the racetrack.

Who influenced your career the most?

Kenneth Mattis, who was a jockey. He was my mentor and I had looked up to him; I wanted to be like him. He was the first rider people looked up to and respect. There were also the likes of Keith McFarlane, David McKenzie, Richard DePass, and George HoSang. A lot of people influenced my career and I am grateful and, like I said before, I have no regrets.

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