Summer Intern Brings Familiar Name Back to Los Alamitos
Wyatt Didericksen is serving as a marketing intern at the Southern California track.
June 24, 2017
Edited press release.
Wyatt Didericksen, whose father, Kip Didericksen, is the 11th all-time leading Quarter Horse jockey at Los Alamitos with 1,318 wins, is working as a summer intern in the marketing department at Los Alamitos Race Course.
A student at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Didericksen is majoring in athletic administration and minoring in coaching.
“I think working here at Los Alamitos this summer is going to be a great learning experience,” he said. “I look forward to the things that I will learn and be able to apply in other sports and parts of life. There are a lot of aspects to an athletic director and Los Alamitos provides a real life look into the challenges of sport, public relations, management, and marketing of a program that will be very useful in the years to come.”
Born in 1994 in Boise, Idaho, Wyatt moved with his dad and mom, Stephanie Didericksen, to Cypress, California, when he was just a year old and Kip Didericksen briefly came back out of retirement to return to riding at Los Alamitos in '95. The Didericksens returned to Boise, Idaho, for good two years later.
“Growing up I played a lot of sports and loved being outdoors,” Wyatt said. “If I wasn’t playing with the neighbors I was doing one of two things - hunting with my dad or hanging out with my grandpa.”
Wyatt’s grandfather is Dwayne Didericksen, a respected and influential figure in Quarter Horse racing, both with the American Quarter Horse Association and with the industry in the Intermountain region.
“In middle school I spent the summers working at Wyoming Downs with my grandpa in Evanston, Wyoming,” Wyatt added. “I was in charge of cleaning and taking care of the paddock. I met a lot of great people there, including (trainers) Bret Vickery and Ron Moosman.”
Wyatt attended Eagle High School in Star, Idaho, where he participated in track and cross-country. During his sophomore year at Eagle, he began to learn more about the scholarship opportunities available to student athletes. The following summer, Wyatt broke school records in the 1600 meters, 1500 meters, and 3200 meters, and he was a member of the distance medley relay team.
“From then on I started to receive attention from colleges and universities," he recalled." As I got faster, bigger schools started to contact me."
Wyatt received a scholarship to Boise State University. He would later leave school to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was called to labor in the Accra, Ghana, mission, where he lived with people in various parts of the country for two years.
"It was an amazing experience," he said.
A coaching change at Boise State led Wyatt to transfer to Idaho State.
“Once I finish school and achieve my master’s degree, I would love to become an Athletic Director at the collegiate level," Wyatt said. "One of the things I learned from the Ghanaian people was that money isn’t everything. I want to work doing something that I can care about and put my best effort forward. Athletic administration was a great fit.”
Kip Didericksen won 63 stakes at Los Alamitos, including the Champion of Champions twice, once with world champion Dash For Speed in 1990, and again with world champion Refrigerator two years later. Los Alamitos annually runs the Didericksen Handicap during Los Alamitos Equine Sale weekend. At 6-feet tall, a professional riding career was not in the cards for Wyatt.
“I did participate in high school rodeo,” he added. “My uncle had a cutting horse that wasn’t being used, so with encouragement from my grandparents I decided that I would give cow cutting a shot. My uncle coached me after track practice all spring, and by the end of it I won the district title. The next year I got a new horse and she was real fancy, but with me being (my height) and her being relatively short, when she would dance in front of the cows my feet would drag on the ground.”
Wyatt Didericksen might one day return to riding Quarter Horses at rodeos, but for now his focus remains on the track -- both for track and field at Idaho State and his summer internship at Los Alamitos.
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