Why I Ditched My Jockey: Bodexpress’s Quest for Fame in His Own Words

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I

’m just a young man and I’m pretty new to this whole ‘Triple Crown’ thing, but it’s been weird so far, right?

The older horses back at the breeding farm didn’t tell me it would be this dramatic. I mean, the fastest horse won the Kentucky Derby just like those gamblers hoped he would, but he was disqualified for swerving like a drunkard. I guess that’s a literal and metaphorical lesson to #stayinyourlane.

The animal rights folks were out in full force on Twitter after that race, but I can assure you that no memes or hashtags were any match for the hot goss we discussed back in the barns over bedtime hay. Sure, I finished a respectable 14th in my first ever Kentucky Derby, but Country House’s win by default really got me thinking...

How can I be remembered forever?

After enjoying the lush Kentucky bluegrass (someone should really tell them it’s actually green) at Churchill Downs, I was shipped to some place called Maryland where these people told me I had another shot at glory. Oh, I played along with their games, and I behaved when they put that little man with all of the awards on my back. They said things like, “John Velazquez is a hall of fame jockey, Bode. He’ll take you to the top!” I nodded along and I did what he asked, but I knew that no human could give me the type of fame I was looking for.

On Saturday afternoon, they took me out and brushed me and put my fancy blue silks on. They paraded me out and I waved just like Miss America (it’s all in the elbow) and then it was time for the big race.

They loaded me into the gate along with 12 of my friends with equally ridiculous names, the bell rang, the crowd roared, and my jockey was on the ground. Now, before you go blaming Mr. John for falling off, don’t get it twisted — there was no chance in heck he could’ve stayed on. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt, and if we’re being honest, I kind of gave him the day off when I dumped him by the side of the road.

And then I was off on my own just like I always wanted to be. I had some catching up to do since my little stunt put me behind the rest of the pack, but for the first time in my life, I was the master of my own path. Literally.

They sent that outrider to come get me, and sure, she looked nice, but I just wasn’t ready to be done. And I still wasn’t ready to be done even after I crossed the finish line, which is usually when they make us stop running whether we want to or not.

When I logged on to Twitter last night (my username is @bodelikes2buck — throw me a follow!), I saw that my master plan had worked. There are more memes of me than I could’ve ever imagined and you can really see my elegant figure so much better without a rider on my back. My fame, it seems, has been immortalized.

All I have to say is, “Maximum Security, who?”


Read this next: I’m Dougie Douglas, the Horse With the Best Name in Show Jumping

Photography by AP Photo/Patrick Semansky.

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Written by Kate Kosnoff

Kate Kosnoff is an equestrian journalist, blogger and photographer. When she isn’t working, Kate can usually be found sipping green tea, scrolling through Twitter, or petting her horses—sometimes a combination of the three. She is based in Indiana and can often be spotted in jumper rings across the Midwest and Florida aboard her strawberry roan, Waffle.