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  • Oliver Eric Guerin is an American Hall of Fame jockey. Eric Guerin was born in Maringouin, Louisiana, in Cajun backwater country, twenty-four miles west of Baton Rouge. The son of an impoverished Cajun blacksmith, older cousin Norman Leblanc had become a jockey then a horse trainer and in 1938 the fourteen-year-old Guerin quit school to go to work for his cousin at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. For two years, the teenager cleaned out horse stalls and began learning to ride by exercising horses. He then signed a contract to work for a Texas businessman's stable, a job that afforded him the opportunity to travel to racetracks around the country. Before long, his contract was sold to another stable owner, a common practise at the time, and Guerin began his career as a thoroughbred horse racing jockey in 1941 at the age of sixteen at Narragansett Park near Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Riding for a top stable proved to be Guerin's big break as a year later he was the United States' leading apprentice jockey.

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