was ushered into the spotlight surrounded by a police escort at Hialeah Park Racetrack on February 7th, 1969. Amidst both boos and cheers from the crowds lining the pathway to the paddock, she became the first woman to ever ride in a pari-mutuel race in the U.S. Although she didn’t win that day, at the age of 20, she looked forward to the exciting years that lay before her. Invitations started pouring in to ride in Puerto Rico, Venezuela and racetracks throughout the United States. In 1970, she became the first woman
to ride in the Kentucky Derby, accomplishing, yet again, another milestone. A few years later came the injury that threatened to end Diane's career once and for all. A horse reared over backwards, pinning her beneath his crushing weight. The bones in Diane's left leg were severely fractured and her ankle was crushed. The prognosis was that she would never ride again. With no insurance, the Don McBeth Foundation came to her rescue and offered to cover all of her medical expenses, and little by little Diane made it back to the races. “It doesn’t bother me to start riding after a spill. As a kid I was always falling off my horse, and it never bothered me.”
After a few more fulfilling years as jockey and trainer, the multiple injuries finally took their toll, and Diane had to admit that she could no longer race. Today, Diane continues to train horses.