Les Bois' only female jockey is one tough lawyer

Les Bois' only female jockey is one tough lawyer


by Ryan Larrondo and KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVB


Posted on June 5, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 6:41 PM

BOISE -- The saying goes, 'if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.'

KTVB's Ryan Larrondo introduces us to one athlete that lives by that saying, and then some.

Nikeela Black is the only female jockey that races at Les Bois Park. However, in a sport dominated by men, Nikeela has won 505 races in her short career. She recently bounced back from a major facial injury caused by a horse. One more thing: she's also pretty good at her day job -- working as lawyer in downtown Boise.

Needless to say, Black's work schedule keeps her moving at a breakneck pace.

"Summers are exhausting," Black told KTVB. "A day off would be really nice, but, I choose to do this."

A typical summer day in the life of Nikeela Black starts bright and early at Les Bois Race Track.

That's where she rides for about four hours each day.

"I'm a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie for sure," Black told KTVB. "There's no other feeling in the world like winning a race."

The 28-year-old jockey works out race horses every morning of the week. After her riding requirements are done, she heads to her day job.

"Sometimes, I really feel like [that] I do lead two separate lives," Black said. "Because, they're so different."

After a change of clothes and a shower, Nikeela clocks into work as an associate attorney at a Boise law office.

"I like to be challenged every day, which is why I'm practicing law," she said. "Because it's not just the same thing over and over every day. I really think it balances it out with the practice of law. I think I would probably get bored or burned out if I did either one strictly."

Working two completely different careers keeps Nikeela on the go during the summer. She's also quick to point out that it's her choice, and she wouldn't have it any other way.

"Why not get paid to do something that you love?" Black asks. "I've been really lucky that I've been able to have my dream job, and I really enjoy practicing law too. I think I'm really blessed to have two jobs that I love. Most people aren't lucky enough to have one."

Black is also about as tough as they come. Six weeks ago, she was kicked in the face by a horse, and needed multiple dental procedures following the injury. She was back on a horse in a week, and won her first race back.