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Katie Davis, a 30-year-old jockey, is currently enjoying a new journey in her life—and that’s the journey of motherhood. On December 20, 2021, Katie and her husband—fellow jockey Trevor McCarthy—welcomed their daughter Riley into the world.
As the daughter of former jockey Robbie Davis, racing is in Katie’s blood. The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree, as Katie’s siblings Jackie and Dylan are also jockeys, and her brother Edmund is a trainer. Katie took out her jockey’s license in 2013 and rode her first winner in 2014 at Aqueduct aboard Ivanovna. Katie’s career took off when she moved her tack to the Mid-Atlantic in 2017; that year, she had a career year in earnings totalling $2,128,231.
Katie was still race riding and making weight safely when she was three months pregnant, and only put away her tack early due to moving to California with Trevor as he began riding on that circuit. Since giving birth to her daughter, Katie returned to the saddle in early February and is planning on making her return to race riding in the near future.
Q: You just started galloping again since giving birth to your daughter; how did it feel to be back on a horse?
K: It’s amazing! Nothing like being on the back of a horse. After having a C-Section, my doctor cleared me after four weeks. But I made a goal for February 1st, and I kept my promise. It kind of felt like I never stopped, besides not being completely fit.
Q: When are you planning on returning to race riding?
K: I do plan on riding races again. If that’s riding in New York again, timing will be everything for me.
Q: When pregnant, did you find it difficult to sit on the sidelines and watch your husband ride?
K: I was only three months pregnant and still riding. I was able to make weight safely, and the only reason I stopped when I did was because we were moving to California. I did find it very difficult to just sit chilly after that because I wasn’t hurt. It’s not like I wasn’t capable of doing my job or even galloping a few horses in the morning. It was just hard to come to my senses that I had a baby growing in my belly. To be honest, it didn’t hit me until I was about six months pregnant. Many women still galloped horses until they were eight months pregnant or even longer, surprisingly.
Watching Trevor ride made me miss it, but I could still live the excitement through him. I do believe going out to California helped me out the most. I feel like if I stayed here on the East Coast and watched my horses run, it would have definitely made it a lot harder on me. While being out in California, it really made me realize who I really am as a person and who I am without having a jockey title. I did a lot of self-work and self-worth with a life coach. It was really amazing; it definitely made me look at life differently and also helped me face my fears.
Q: Do you think people expected you to stop riding after becoming a mother?
K: Of course. Everyone has their own opinion on this topic, but when it comes down to making that decision, it’s honestly between Trevor and me. I hear both sides from outsiders. I’m just going to follow my heart and do what’s best for my family and me. It’s not easy being home 24/7. Just remember, “happy wife, happy life.”
Q: Has your daughter had her first trip to the track yet?
K: Riley had her first visit to the track yesterday. Surprisingly she slept the whole time and didn’t wake up. I guess she was tired, but the horses were so kind to her and just kept smelling her.
Q: What’s your favourite part about being a mom so far?
K: Knowing that I made her, it’s just incredible. The love you have for your child is so hard to explain. Watching her grow and smile are just precious moments. She gives me a purpose to keep moving forward.
Q: Are you hoping your daughter will inherit your love for racehorses and riding?
K: I sure hope so, but I do understand my dreams are my dreams, and she has to follow her own dreams. Regardless, I will support her either way.