By Kristin Bechthold
Chris Fackler is relatively new to Canterbury Park, having begun in 2013. As a young rider, he has only been racing for six years, starting in 2007. He earned his first win on a horse named Rahy Royal in July 2007 at Lincoln Race Course in Nebraska. He has also raced in Ohio, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Indiana, but is stationed at Canterbury Park for the summer. Because he acts as his own agent, he does not travel as much as he did in his earlier years.
Like many jockeys, Fackler grew up around horses and on a farm with beef cattle, swine, chickens, and geese. His love for the outdoors is what keeps him working with horses. If he wasn’t a jockey, he would be working as a farmer, which he considers his dream job. “I would like to start work at 9, take a break at noon to eat and nap, then go back outside until the sun goes down,” he said. He claims that there’s “nothing better” than fresh dairy milk straight out of the big, metal barrel.
Though he hardly believes it, his father was formerly a trainer and jockey. “I wouldn’t believe him if there weren’t pictures,” he said with a laugh. Though he hasn’t learned much about racing from his father, he grew up watching him learn from others’ mistakes. “In that way, he knew a lot about everything,” Fackler said. “Same with my brother, whether it was carpentry, diesel work, ranching, or horses.”
Though Fackler isn’t sure of what else he would like to learn how to do, he knows he would like to keep improving his riding. Like most riders, he knows that there is always something to learn in the racing industry. “You don’t ever stop learning it,” he said. “You can never ride enough horses.” He claims the best way to learn is to watch the old-timers and learn their secrets.
When he isn’t racing and focusing on horses, Fackler spends his free time with his 7-year-old Shiba Inu, “Shot.” They spend time going to parks and going on long walks.