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The Life Of An Outrider

Published: January 10, 2022 5:13 pm ET

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From a horse-crazy kid in her school days, 32-year-old outrider Ashley Holliday's innate touch for handling horses led to her dream job as guardian of Ohio's harness tracks.

A familiar face at Dayton, Miami Valley and Scioto racetracks along with Thoroughbred track Belterra Park, Holliday plays a key role in keeping racing's horses and participants safe on a daily basis and during rare emergency situations.

“Some bad things do happen, but there’s far more good in our sport,” Holliday, who was profiled in a Dayton Daily News article, was quoted as saying. “You just don’t hear about the good things, the thousands and thousands of horses who race safely and are taken care of and loved."

Hailing from a harness racing family, Holliday was first introduced to the sport through her grandmother and her career path was also inspired by another female outrider.

“I used to watch a girl named Sis Arnold, who was an outrider at all the tracks in Illinois,” said Holliday. “I really looked up to her.

“She has a picture of me on one of her outrider horses when I was maybe just five or six. I have my Mighty Ducks coat on. She’s the first person where I said, ‘I want to be just like her. I want to be like Sis.’

“Like all little girls, you see a girl on the racetrack with all those pretty horses. Who wouldn’t want to do that?”

Holliday provides an in-depth look into the important role she plays in the industry and discusses the dangers of the job, her routine and the preparation put into each race card.

To read the complete Dayton Daily News article, click here.

(With files from Dayton Daily News)

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