Danny Lavergne to Retire

Top rider to retire this weekend.


Danny Lavergne prepares to retire this week. PHOTO: Stallionesearch.com

Veteran Louisiana-rider Danny Lavergne has decided to call an end to his career as a jockey on the last day of the 2014 Delta Downs Quarter Horse racing meet on Saturday, July 12.

The 54-year old rider will end his career aboard Ol Time Preacher Man in the $217,545 Delta Downs Derby on the multi-stakes race card at Delta Downs. Lavergne's largest win in his career came aboard the Kenny Roberts trained Ol Time Preacher Man in the 2013 running of the $1 million LQHBA Breeders' Futurity (RG1), and now it is fitting that the last ride is aboard the same horse he rode for his most lucrative career win.

It was a career that began in 1974 at Horsemen's Park in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the age of 14. Lavergne took out his license as a jockey in 1976 at Delta Downs.

Lavergne has seen a career, like most jockeys, of highs-and-lows. After setting a track record for races won Sam Houston Race Park in 2004, Lavergne suffered through what he calls "a botched back surgery".

"We thought my career was over after that surgery," said Lavergne. "I was introduced to Dr. J. Fontenot in Longview, Texas by Jason Richards. I credit both of them with getting me back up riding after the surgery. I was stronger and healthier than ever, and I was back to the career that I loved."

Lavergne has 2,033 wins from 16,173 starts. With his career earnings mark currently at $19,887,821 prior to this weekend's races, the soon-to-be former rider has a plan of action following him hanging up his race riding tack for the last time.

"I want to go out at the top of my game, and while I'm still young, strong, and healthy enough to continue to work with horses," said Lavergne.

"It is time for me to be in one place permanently, and to watch my grandsons, Wyatt and Ty, and my daughter Gracie grow up. I want to have neighbors, and I am also looking forward to joining a church choir. My wife and I have bought a farm just north of Vinton that we are going to call Lavergne Equine Academy. The plan is to break babies for the track, as well as to work with troubled or ill-mannered horses. God gave me a gift of having a good rapport with horses, and I want to continue to work with them," he added.

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