On Sunday, April 15, Monique and I went to the Longchamp racetrack for a guided tour of the hippodrome with Gina Rarick, the only American professional racehorse trainer in France and the first American woman granted a license here. The event was organized by Mark Tronco for the members of the Paris Alumnae/i Network. We met Mark at the entrance to the racecourse and he escorted us into the grandstand, where Gina gave an opening presentation.
Gina was raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. She began a career in journalism at the Milwaukee Journal in 1984. She moved on to the Milwaukee Sentinel and then to Knight-Ridder Financial News in Chicago. Her interest in horses was rekindled in Chicago, where she took riding lessons at a downtown carriage-horse stable. She moved on to the International Herald Tribune in Paris, where she covered major race meetings around the world.
In Paris, her passion for horses continued to grow and she joined riding clubs in the region. She learned to ride racehorses and rode (and won) her first race at the age of 38! She is now a professional thoroughbred racehorse trainer.
While listening to Gina’s presentation, the members of the group brought out their picnic lunches. Monique and I had packed two pâtés (duck and pork), Comté cheese, fig bread, and…champagne. In spite of the brisk, overcast weather, the day was starting out well!
Next: Gina takes us on a tour.
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