Nielsen loves working with horses | NevadaAppeal.com

Nielsen loves working with horses

Darrell Moody

Katie Nielsen, a South Reno resident, realized a dream when she and some friends from the Bay Area, ventured to the recently held Kentucky Derby.

Nielsen, a former news anchor in Reno, enjoyed the trip immensely and said she’d love to make it a yearly event.

“It was absolutely amazing,” she said last week. “It was once-in-a-lifetime day; it really was.”

Nielsen started riding horse when she was 6 years old, and her grandmother would take her to the Santa Anita track in Southern California.

“I had my face pressed up against the rail nearest the finish line all day,” Nielsen said. “I think that got me hooked.”

While Nielsen was working for the NBC station in Little Rock, Ark., a few years ago, she went to Oaklawn Park on an assignment about female jockeys. Nielsen interviewed trainer Donald Caudill, and told him that she wanted to learn how to ride horses.

It took a while, but eventually Nielsen got to ride one of Caudill’s horses.

Now, Nielsen spends every weekend at Golden Gate Fields as an exercise rider. She rides horses on Saturday and Sunday mornings for trainer Ellen Jackson, who has about 25 horses in her care.

In fact, Nielsen actually bought a horse from Jackson.

“I take horses on longer, slower gallops,” Nelson said. “We try to build up endurance; build up their stamina.”

Nielsen has never been to the Belmont or Preakness. She said the only way she would go to all three in a year was if a horse she had worked with made either of the races.

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Former Carson track standout Christy Works finished seventh in the 800-meter race at the Western Athletic Conference championships.

Works ran a 2:14.98 to earn three WAC points and second team All-WAC honors.

The 1,600-meter relay team of Deidre Pettigrue, April Pate, Works and Cristina Hibbert ran a 3:53.25 to finish seventh in the event and scored two points.

Nevada tied with New Mexico State for seventh place with 66 points.

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Carson High’s softball season ended Saturday with an 11-1 loss to Damonte Ranch, the second-place team out of the Sierra League.

The Senators had a nice season, and should be one of the powers in Northern Nevada for the next couple of years. Carson loses catcher Megan Hein, pitcher-third baseman Daria Leid and pitcher-first baseman Natalie Morrow.

However with youngsters like Christa McGahuey coming up from the JV squad and returning players like Moriah Lane, Lindsey Ashbaugh, Lauren Knorzer, Emily Collins, Jocelyn Young, Kristin Withrow and Lisa Yamamoto, the future certainly looks bright.