Racer One: A Beloved Murray State Tradition

One of the many traditions here at Murray State is Racer One. Since 1976, a horse nicknamed ‘Racer One’ and a student jockey run a lap around the track after every Racer touchdown at home football games to celebrate. This years’ jockey is senior Jamie Wolfzorn who is very involved with the equine programs at Murray State. Jamie graciously agreed to answer HerCampus’ questions regarding her new role as a long-standing Murray State tradition. Here is what she had to say*:

(Photo by Dave Winder of Murray State Athletics)

1. Did you grow up around horses? If so, can you describe your background regarding horses?

I did! I grew up on a small beef cattle farm in California, Kentucky where I had a little pony that I showed in 4H. I was also heavily involved with FFA in high school and I am an Equine Science major here at Murray State. So, I have literally been around horses basically my entire life.

2. What made you want to try out to be the Racer One jockey?

Ever since my first football game my freshman year, I knew I wanted to be the Racer 1 Jockey, and then my friend, Anna Thomas, was the jockey last year. She asked me to be on the team to help out at the farm and at the games. While working with her I realized just how cool it would be to be the jockey, so in November last year I tried out. I kind of just hit the ground running.

3. What does it mean to you to be able to take part in one of the traditions here at MSU?

It really is just an honor, I mean there has only been a select handful of people that have done what I get to do. Every time I get up in the saddle I think of how blessed I am to have such an amazing opportunity to carry on such a neat tradition.

4. What has been the most exciting part of being the jockey?

I would have to say that the most exciting part of being the jockey is going to the football games. I still get cold chills each time we pull into the stadium, whether it be for practice or for a game.

5. Has anything surprised you about being the jockey, something you didn’t anticipate?

Honestly the thing that surprised me the most is how much of a public figure I am now. This year, we have really focused on making Racer One a PR tool. The athletic department had a segment on me, I’ve been on the news, and even just walking around campus people recognize me. It’s actually pretty cool, I’m kind of famous which is a little weird but also one of my favorite parts about being the jockey.

6. Racer One, also known as Lobo around the farm, what is he like to work with?

He’s a ten year old Quarter Horse who has a lot of personality; horses are individuals and each of them are different, but he has the most personality in a horse that I have ever seen. He has his little quirks, but we work through them most of the time.

7. What’s going through your mind when you’re preparing to run after a touchdown?

It is such an adrenaline rush running around the track. I almost have to remind myself how to ride because I get so excited that all my thoughts go out of my head. So, to myself, I have to say “Eyes up, heels down, more leg and GO!”.

8. Do you have any advice for the next jockey?

I think something that helped me the most was working him throughout the spring semester and in the summer. If they are able to do that, I definitely recommend doing so. But, since I just started, all I have to say at this point is soak up every minute of it. It’s so cool to be a part of this amazing tradition; it’s something you’ll never forget.

9. Anything else you would like to add?

Go Racers! It’s gonna be a great season!

 

(*Some answers have been edited for length or clarity.)