DEL MAR, Calif. — Jessica Pyfer has been riding horses her entire life. Two years ago, she decided to turn her love into a career by becoming a jockey.

Her career started off with a bang.

“Last year, I happened to win the eclipse award and that’s an award in the first year of riding. They pick out of the USA the top riders from that year. I was the third female to win it. That was definitely the highlight of my career,” Pyfer said.

Despite horse racing being a male-dominated sport, she jumped at the opportunity to play the sport she loves, opening a few minds along the way.

“Hanging out with other male jockeys and they say are you a jockey to the males, it’s kind of interesting in that way and they all tell them I’m a jockey too, and they’re like no way,” Pyfer said.

Even though she’s used to racing at Del Mar, the atmosphere never gets old.

“Del Mar is incredible, just the people, people yelling out your name before you hit the track. It really gives you the environment you need to get into a race,” Pyfer said.

Racing in the fourth race of the day, atop of Big Buzz, she got another win.

“To win on opening day is the best day you can win,” Pyfer said. “All the people are here to see that a woman can win, so that’s great.”