By Kristin Bechthold
Lori Keith brings her passion for horses to Canterbury Park year after year. Originally from London, she now travels between Remington Park in Oklahoma City, OK and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR in the winter and Canterbury Park in the summer.
Lori Keith started riding horses when she was nine years old. Although her parents wanted her to golf, she wanted to be around horses. They bought her a rescue pony who ended up being a terrific show jumper. “I just loved anything fast, whether it was cross country, jumping, or anything like that,” Keith said. She and her pony advanced from local shows to affiliated shows and were showing close to every weekend in the summer as she was growing up.
Her start in racing began with her job working on a race track twenty minutes away from her home in England. She worked for a steeplechase and flat racing trainer for four years, then made the decision to come to America to see the differences between English and American racing.
Her start in America began with working at a racetrack in California for 2 ½ years. She then made her way to Phoenix and eventually settled on Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Minnesota.
To date, Keith says that her biggest accomplishment has been winning the Mystic Lake Derby two years in a row, 2012 and 2013. She did not ride in it in 2014. “I can safely say that when I’ve ridden in it, I’ve won it,” Keith said with a laugh. “Maybe this year I’ll win it again. I don’t know if I have any prospects right now, but you never know.”
Though Keith claims to not have very many hobbies outside of horses, cooking is one of her favorites. Her favorite food to cook is French and Italian, such as spaghetti and lasagna, as well as home English cooking like Shepherd’s Pie. She learned how to cook from her parents, who own a restaurant in the south of France. “I suppose I got it from them,” Keith said. “My dad is the worst when I ask him about a recipe. He says, ‘Just a bit of this, a bit of that,’ and I say, ‘Dad! A bit is what?’ and he says, ‘You know, just a bit!”
In addition to cooking, her hobbies include reading, watching movies, relaxing on the lake, and spending time with her five year old boxer, Sevie. Her favorite movie is “This Is Forty,” and her favorite TV shows include The Voice and Seinfeld. Her taste in music varies from rock to country to pop, with two of her favorite music artists being Adele and Pink.
Each year, Keith brings her enthusiasm for the sport of horse racing to Canterbury Park and is an exceptional representative for female jockeys. Her career statistics now total to 4,095 starts and 492 wins with $5,572,856 in earnings