Canadian Hall Of Fame Jockey Gary Boulanger Announces Retirement

Gary Boulanger | Michael Burns Photo

Edited Press Release

Jockey Gary Boulanger, whose numerous career highlights include a Queen's Plate victory, has decided to call it a career.

“It's the right time,” Boulanger, 55, told Woodbine Communications. “I don't feel I have anything left to prove. I am so grateful to all the trainers, owners and my fellow riders for their support. Just like anyone who rides horses, there are many ups and downs, but you always find a way to persevere.”

A 2020 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee, the native of Alberta enjoyed great success over a career that included devastating injuries. He overcame back problems, which required extensive surgery in the late 1990s, and came back from an eight-year absence precipitated by a spill at Gulfstream, which led to life-threatening injuries, in 2005.

No one believed he'd ever ride again, including Boulanger.

But after breezing horses for champion trainer Mark Casse, he rode his first race in eight years at Tampa Bay Downs in 2013. His first victory after the accident came on a Casse horse.

With a return to the saddle came a new perspective on the sport.

“I felt more in-tune with the horses, having more of a connection with them than I ever had. And it was a great feeling.”

As was the feeling Boulanger got when he would bring a horse back to the winner's circle.

His two biggest highlights came at Woodbine.

Moving his tack to the Toronto oval in June 2000, Boulanger partnered Dancethruthedawn (Mr. Prospector) to victory in the 2001 Queen's Plate and Woodbine Oaks.

In 2017, Boulanger received the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award.

Boulanger, whose son Brandon also rides, retires with 3,685 career victories and $83,543,336 in purse earnings.

“I'm not quite sure what is next, but I love the horses, the horse people and the sport,” said Boulanger, who also has a three-year-old son Cristian with wife Jennifer Petricca. “I would like to stay connected to racing, so we'll see what happens. For now, I want to spend time with my family and reflect on how lucky I was to be a jockey. To everyone who supported me… I can't thank you enough.”

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