Gymnast David Mussad, a graduate of the North American Riding Academy founded by jockey Chris McCarron on the Walk of Fame in 1988, is keen to return to jockey and equestrianism in afternoon.
That was his intention when he got into the sport, going north at Golden Gate Fields, Sacramento and the fairs, but it didn’t work out. He tried to set up businesses at the Indiana Grand and Ellis Park in Kentucky, but his criminal record dating back to his high school years dashed those hopes in 2019.
The 30-year-old Mussad, a native of San Diego, is currently salaried to Peter Miller’s former assistant Ruben Alvarado, who works full-time for horses at the San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall in San Diego County. He said it was a good show.
“Money is in favor of hours and (amount) of work,” he said. “We prepare the horses and do whatever the trainers ask. If you have experience riding, you really can’t beat this job. You wake up in the morning, you’re out there and it’s a good vibe. “
He enjoyed riding in Santa Anita, but a shortage of horses made it difficult to secure a mount.
“It’s very different in Santa Anita now,” he said. “When I first came here, there were a lot of horses on the track. It was crazy. You always try to beat the traffic, try to stay ahead of the line. Now it’s not the same. Lots of rules, lots of politics going on with it. As for the race, I went up north, up there, down Santa Anita and it was tough in Santa Anita. Super hard. ”
Super difficult for him financially. When he gave up everything to try to become a cyclist, his wallet took a hit.
“Financially, I was in trouble,” he said. “I used up two credit cards trying to become a cyclist and I was left with a lot of things. When you’re a month behind, you’re really like two or three months behind and you’re trying to catch up. It ruined my credit, screwed up a lot of things. Right now, I’m just trying to fix all of that, fix my financial situation.”
The highlight of his career was most likely the morning he galloped to a future Triple Crown of Justify when he was just 2 years old at Keeneland. He didn’t know whose horse was because all he saw was a number on the pony stable.
“I remember the first time I saw him in the stall, I never looked at me a horse like he did,” Mussad said. “It was about 4:30 in the morning, I was walking past his stall and I saw this big chestnut, such a big horse.
“I remember riding him, and there were things that other 2-year-olds would look at, like fences, gaps, puddles, just little things 2-year-olds would look at, and he he never did. He is very smart and he loves his job. His ears are always pointed forward.”
He also galloped notable horses such as Roy H, Richard’s Boy and Mo Forza.
Mussad recalls his first victory. It arrived in Sacramento on a horse named Daddy Duke in 2018.
He said if he had more money he would try horseback riding again, but what he earns now as a gymnast is helping him recover his economic activity. its financial business.
Plus, it’s a matter of a dwindling number of horses.
“Even in San Luis Rey Downs, there are still a lot of empty stalls,” says Mussad. “You walk past Santa Anita and there are a lot of empty stalls. Is crazy.”
There’s also the frustration of having to ride for weeks to spare in the morning, then read the entries and discover someone else is riding in the afternoon.
“I would make a note of all the horses I did, and then the entries would come out and the horses I worked on for weeks had people like Abel Cedillo and Joel Rosario,” says Mussad. “I was like, ‘Damn it!’ But you can’t really say anything. What are you going to say? It just messes up your head so much. You’re like, ‘Fuck, what am I doing wrong?’
“I will definitely have to move somewhere else (to continue my career as a jockey). It’s hard to try to break in here. All these jokes are established, guys like Cedillo and all the top guys are winning races every weekend. ”
For now, he’s preparing his horse for the race until, maybe one day, he’ll ride in the afternoons again.
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https://www.sbsun.com/2021/12/30/the-super-tough-life-of-trying-to-become-a-jockey/ Life is ‘super hard’ trying to be a jockey – San Bernardino Sun