Rosie Headshot

Most people know Rosie Napravnik from her successful career as a professional jockey.

She was the first female jockey ever to win the Kentucky Oaks and did so twice in three years. Rosie is only the second female jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race and the only female to win more than one. Her 5th place finish in the Kentucky Derby, aboard Mylute in 2012, is the highest placing finish of the six female jockeys who have ridden the race. She is the only woman to have ridden in all three Triple Crown races and has ridden each race multiple times, and all in a single season.

Rosie grew up far from racing, riding in Pony Club in Bedminster, NJ. The daughter of well-known eventing coach, Cindy Napravnik, Rosie started competing at the age of 4. At the age of 7, she rode in her first pony race aboard her 12h Welsh Mountain Pony. For several years, Rosie competed in both junior pony racing and eventing. She also rode a serious campaign, with a pony who had been rescued from the slaughter pipeline, on the pony jumper circuit and finished 7th in the National Pony Jumper Finals in 2000. At age 12, in the last Horse Trials of her youth, she competed at the Training level, before turning her focus solely toward racing. At that point, Rosie got her first Thoroughbred and had tunnel vision of a professional jockey career.

Old Ironsides with Rosie aboard for his final win on the racetrack 2/9/08

Rosie had immediate success on the racetrack, winning her very first race. Throughout her career of 9 1/2 years, she raced at all of the premier racetracks in the U.S. and Canada and was regularly hired by the most prominent trainers in the industry to pilot their horses in the most prestigious races in the world. She was also privileged to ride in the Shurgar Cup at Ascot Racecourse in England. Rosie holds numerous riding titles at multiple racetracks across the U.S.

During her career, Rosie supported multiple Thoroughbred aftercare organizations. She joined the Board of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement and participated in numerous benefits to support that charity, among a variety of other organizations. In 2013, she participated in a demonstration on her OTTB, “Sugar” (JC: Old Ironsides), at the Thoroughbreds For All event, hosted by the Retired Racehorse Project, which took place at the New Vocations facility in Lexington, KY.

The magnitude of her success on the track made it difficult for the racing community to understand her retiring at the peak of her career, in 2014. Rosie and her husband, successful racing trainer Joe Sharp, had decided to try for their first child together. She was 6 weeks pregnant when she won the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff aboard Untapable.

Old Ironsides with Rosie, jumping clean and clear on cross country in his first training level horse trials 7/15/17

Although she is now retired from riding races, Rosie still has a strong passion for Thoroughbreds! She dabbled in eventing on her OTTB while she was still racing but now has fully immersed herself into the sport horse industry while supporting her husband’s successful string on the racetrack. Her passion has evolved into a private training operation, transitioning retired racehorses into second careers. Going back to her roots, Rosie mainly focuses on eventing in her training program but also uses her experience with Hunters, Jumpers, and Fox Hunting, to train each horse toward the discipline in which it is most likely to excel. Many of Rosie’s training influences come from her mother, who has trained and coached eventing horses and riders for Rosie’s entire life. In recent years, Rosie has been coached and mentored by eventing’s 1994 World Equestrian Games Individual Silver Medalists, Dorothy Crowell, who’s best horse was Molokai, an OTTB.

Rosie has competed in the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover seven times. In the Makeover, she has finished in the top 15 of the eventing discipline five times. In 2019, Rosie won the Eventing Discipline with a horse named Sanimo, who was trained by her husband during his short career on the racetrack. She also competed 2016 Kentucky Derby starter, My Man Sam in the Hunters, finishing in the top 20 of 134 horses

Rosie’s goal is to showcase all of the horses in her program, to advocate for their value off the track while searching for each horse’s perfect person. Rosie strives to ensure that each horse is ultimately placed into a home where they will be taken to their greatest potential, whatever that may be. Rosie has taught galloping clinics for Area VIII Young Riders camps and has lead seminars on “Transitioning Thoroughbreds From The Racetrack” and “What Race Horses Know.” She has been a keynote speaker for various events, including the National Pony Club Convention. Rosie sits on the board of the Retired Racehorse Project and the advisory boards of Old Friends and the Makers Mark Secretariat Center. In early 2019 Rosie partnered with New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program to open a satellite facility in Covington, LA where she recognized a high demand for Thoroughbred aftercare.

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