Jockey Laverne Fator: How One of the Best Riders of Present Day Got His Start, Daily Racing Form, 1921-10-02


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JOCKEY LAVERNE FATOR How One of the Best Riders of Present Day Got His Start. NEW YORK, N. Y., October 1. No occupation in connection with the turf presents greater rewards to those who are successful than that of jockey, but skill in the saddle calls for exceptional Qualities and few capable riders seem able to stand success. The history of racing in every country is studded with instances of jockeys who refused to take their calling seriously. It is only when some promising boy is disciplined for indiscretions or dishonesty that the rank and file of the turf world have their attention focused on the subject of the jockey and his failings. The period in which success is to be won is short, and calls for constant self-denial and the most scrupulous fidelity to the interest of employer and public alike. Those who have strength of character have no difficulty in acquiring a competency for the time when they have lost their skill or grown too heavy for further duty in the saddle. The great riders of the past have come from all sources, but the best or them have been recruited from the stables of horsemen making a specialty of developing jockeys. McLaughlin, Garrison, Griffin and others of our best men in the saddle received the rudiments of their horsemanship in this way. It is unusual when a boy acquires skill in any other field, and for this reason the history of Laverne Fator, now regarded as a leader in his profession, is unique. Fators horsemanship has assumed a quality this year that is challenging the attention of the critics. His ride on Surf Rider in the Babylon Handicap at Aqueduct on Tuesday last was one of the best pieces of saddle work seen this year. This young man lie is 21 and married since last winter was born in Hailey, Idaho, and he learned to ride while working on a cattle ranch in his native state. "I went to work on a ranch when I was fifteen years of age." said Fator between the races at Aqueduct on Wednesday last, "and think that some of the things 1 learned on the range with the cattle have been useful in my work as n jockey. One lias to learn how to take care of oneself in a larrry. The three years I spent on the back of tow horses of all kinds made me think quickly and this is something useful to those who follow the track for a living. Chances occur now and then in races where a rider can improve his position if he is alert and thinks quickly. The difference between getting through an opening or being shut off is the difference between success and defeat. "I had no thought of becoming a professional rider until one day a man in Boise, whom I knew, spoke to Stuart Polk about me. We had a chat and I went with Mr. Polk to Cuba, where he was racing a string of horses. My first mount was on a marc called Pauline Crowley. She fell in the race. It wasnt a flattering beginning, but I listened to Mr. Polk, who always impressed on me the advantage of waiting off the pace with a horse whenever I could do so. "That was in the winter of 191S," resumed Fator. "and the experience at Havana was the best I could have had. The officials were strict about rough riding and a new boy had all the protection he could hope for. My real chance to make a name in the saddle of course came after Mr. Hildreth bought my contract. In his stable I got a chance on the best horses in training. I like to work for him and have renewed my contract with the Kan-cocas Stable for another term of years. Whats the best horse I ever rodeV I should have to say Grey Lag; he is so honest. He gives you all he has whenever you ask him." Fators example is worthy of emulation by other jockeys who arc battling their way to the top in their profession.

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