Chris Rosier overcoming the odds

Chris Rosier 5-29-16 CBY

Story by Megan Johnson    Video by Michelle Benson

Chris Rosier, one of Canterbury’s top riders, continues to succeed with his determination and love for the sport. Although he has been faced with some health challenges throughout his career, he continues to ride. “I’ve never used it as an excuse for anything,” said Rosier.

In 2004, Rosier endured a break to his collarbone, which was followed by a spell of blindness. Soon after this accident, doctors had diagnosed him with type 1 diabetes. “I didn’t know much about it but you don’t fully understand it until you get it and have to live with it,” he said. “Every day after that I just dealt with it as it came.”

 

After recuperating from his health problems, Rosier started a family and was back riding as soon as he could. A year after being diagnosed, Rosier rode a few horses every now and again, but four years later he was back to riding fulltime.

“Riding is a challenge and the disease is also a challenge, but you learn how to manage both,” says Rosier.

Rosier rides with an insulin pump. This device allows him to be more active, which is a demand as a jockey. It allows him to have a close eye on his blood sugar levels, while the device is helping keep his numbers at a healthy level.

“This device helps individuals with the disease live a normal life.”

In the past Rosier has gone to a riding camp in Phoenix, Arizona to speak to children about diabetes. Rosier enjoys speaking to kids and their parents about the disease to help them get an understanding about what they’re living with and how they’re feeling.

“If I can inspire one kid to continue doing what they love to do, that’s great.”

Rosier grew up and spent the majority of his childhood on the backside of the racetrack. At 17, being a jockey was the last thing Rosier wanted to be but he found himself getting on horses again once he left home.

“When you start riding races you either have a natural talent for it or you don’t. I don’t’ want to say I’m better than the next, but I do believe that I have a natural talent to get on horses. I don’t know what else I would be doing.”

Although he’s been riding for 15 years, this is his first meet at Canterbury. He enjoys the atmosphere Canterbury offers and explains that the thousands of race fans at Canterbury add a lot to his riding experience.

“The crowds are awesome and it brings you back to when people simply loved horse racing and came out, opposed to now when people can watch and wager at home,” he said. “Canterbury really brings a lot of people out and to have them hollering for you in the grandstand is a part that I enjoy, even if you do come in last. It’s been great.”

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