Sachem alum Diane Nelson, a member of the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame as a famous horse jockey, has died at the age of 54.
Nelson was the sixth female jockey in North America to reach 1,000 winners. She had 1,095 victories in 9,905 career races and purse earnings of more than $19 million, according to Equibase, a horse racing database.
She was one of horse racing’s elite female jockeys, although she never rode in any of the prestigious Triple Crown or Breeders’ Cup races. She rode regularly on the highly competitive New York circuit, where at times she was the lone woman.
-Words by Chris R. Vaccaro