Life is very unpredictable and we don’t know what is around the corner. Now when we see big names from the sporting or business world, we assume that their success came easy, but in most cases, it wasn’t like that.
Many people don’t know what they would like to do for the rest of their lives, but somehow all the pieces of the puzzle come together and lead them to an amazing life that can inspire many other people.
That is the case with the story of Andy Hernandez, the horse racing jockey that managed to build quite a successful career even though he didn’t know much about the sport. He is not going to be among the Breeders’ Cup entries in November, but it’s possible that we will see him in the future competing not only in the BC but also in the Triple Crown events.
Horse racing is full of amazing stories, from incredible underdog horses becoming champions, to jockeys that transformed into horse racing and got a lot of success. If you need some inspiration or you are interested in horse racing, meet Andy Hernandez and find out how he managed to build quite a successful career in horse racing.
The Story of Andy Hernandez
If you are interested in horse racing, chances are that you’ve already seen Andy Hernandez compete in some of the races, but most people don’t know his strange background.
Coming from Cuba, a country that doesn’t have much history with horse racing, he moved to South Florida as a barber. As an immigrant in the United States, Hernandez started working at a barber shop at 15 years old.
Going to a different country with no proper education or finances means that you need to work a lot harder in order to make a decent life. This is why Hernandez worked at a barber shop almost every day for a couple of years.
So, how would a barber become a jockey without having any previous experience with horses?
Well, sometimes all you need are the proper connections with other people, which is why networking is crucial to finding success in life.
Transferring to Horse Racing
Sometimes, the park lives in you and all you need is a little push or something to ignite it and find success in life. Hernandez’s passion for horse racing was ignited after a meeting with Gulfstream Park-based trainer Diosdado Iglesias.
Hernandez mentioned a couple of times in the barber shot that he likes horse racing and shares a big passion for the sport.
After the meeting with Diosdado Iglesias, which was a previous jockey also coming from Cuba that immigrated to the country in the late 1950s, he decided to take Hernandez under his wing and inspire him to become more than just a horse racing enthusiast.
Iglesias took Hernandez on a horse racing journey and explained to him more about the sport. He was also an important figure in Hernandez’s life just because he was the first person that told Hernandez everything, he knew about Thoroughbred horse racing.
After being inspired by horse racing, this became Hernandez’s obsession. He really wanted to get involved with horse racing as a new career choice for him.
His passion led him to David Brownlee, who gave him his first job in horse racing. But as with any new beginning, you’ll start from the bottom, learning all the things until you have the knowledge to reach the top.
Hernandez started as a hot walker, but he was in good hands since Brownlee took the time to teach him more about the sport.
After climbing up in the job positions in horse racing, Hernandez was given a chance to gallop horses. There was something about Hernandez that led him to have such success in horse racing.
The most important thing to note is that he was an unbelievable work ethic, which is why he earned the trust of David Brownlee and was put in an actual race.
His first career ride was at Gulfstream Park on April 6, 2021, on a horse named Majestic Luna.
Where is Hernandez in the World of Horse Racing Now?
After learning more about the sport quite fast, Hernandez came a long way in a short time since his first ride which was a couple of years ago. He is now 22 years old, and Monmouth Park is one of four racetracks he currently rides at.
He made quite a big impressing at the Jersey Shore, with a 4-3-4 line from 20 mounts which shows his incredible abilities in horse racing.
His next move in his career was after meeting Jimmy Boulmetis, which instantly created a strong and ongoing partnership.
Even though Hernandez didn’t get much success in the world of horse racing, Boulmetis saw his qualities as a rider. He also said that he is a very good rider, but the lack of success was just because he was riding the wrong horses.
This partnership proved to be very successful just because he managed to get 107 wins in 2022 only and total earnings of more than $4 million over a course of a year.
It seems like Hernandez is only at the start of his incredible career as a jockey and we will see a lot of news around his name even on big Grade 1 races.
The inspiring story of Andy Hernandez sounds like it came out of a fairytale, just because he managed to turn his life 180 degrees in just a couple of years.
It shows that believing in your passion and working hard really pays off.
So, even though you don’t know the next step of your professional life, sometimes things can come really quick and you’ll find yourself in a place where you’ve never imagined before. All you need to do is have a little faith and work hard until your dream isn’t fulfilled.
Making the right connections is always the case in these success stories, which is why you need to improve your networking abilities and meet with other people that might bring new opportunities to your doorstep.
All you need is a small push, and you’ll be able to conquer everything in your path.