Jack Westrope

Jack Gordon Westrope (January 18, 1918 – June 19, 1958)[1] was an American Hall of Fame jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing.

Jack Westrope
Born(1918-01-18)January 18, 1918
Baker, Montana, United States
DiedJune 19, 1958(1958-06-19) (aged 40)
Hollywood, California, United States[1]
Career wins2,467
Major racing wins
Potomac Handicap (1936)
Bahamas Stakes (1937)
Blue Grass Stakes (1937)
Stars and Stripes Handicap (1937)
Santa Anita Derby (1938)
Empire City Handicap (1938)
Tremont Stakes (1938)
Narragansett Special (1938)
Matron Stakes (1939)
San Juan Capistrano Handicap(1939)
Suburban Handicap (1939)
Westerner Stakes (1939, 1946, 1950)
Cowdin Stakes (1941)
Hollywood Gold Cup (1941)
Jerome Handicap (1943)
Hollywood Derby (1946, 1950)
Fashion Stakes (1947)
Vosburgh Stakes (1947)
Frizette Stakes (1947)
Del Mar Derby (1949)
Hollywood Lassie Stakes (1949)
San Antonio Handicap (1949)
Massachusetts Handicap (1953)
San Luis Obispo Handicap (1953)
Delaware Oaks (1954)
San Fernando Stakes (1954, 1956)
National Stallion Stakes (filly division) (1955)
Laurel Turf Cup Handicap (1956)
Racing awards
United States Champion Jockey by wins (1933)
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (2002)
Significant horses
Big Pebble, Cravat, Parlo, Stagehand

Born in Baker, Montana, Westrope was the son of racehorse owner/trainer W. T. Westrope. Jack was only 12 years old when he rode his first winner, on a small track in Lemmon, South Dakota. By age 15, while still officially an apprentice jockey, he was the leading rider in the U.S. for 1933. Westrope scored 301 victories from the 1,224 races he competed in that year, giving him a 25% win rate, the highest for any national title holder during the past twenty-four years.[2]

Although based on the West Coast of the United States, Jack Westrope won races across the United States and in Cuba. During his career, he rode 2,467 winners including in numerous important graded stakes races such as the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, and the Hollywood Gold Cup.

During the running of the 1958 Hollywood Oaks at Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, California, Westrope was severely injured when he was thrown from Well Away, his horse, and died in hospital a few hours later.[3][4] He was survived by his second wife Terry, and daughters Pamela and Jan from his first marriage, to actress Nan Grey.[5] He is buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale.[1]

Westrope lived for a time next door to Oliver Hardy.[citation needed]

For his contribution to the sport, Jack Westrope was inducted posthumously into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2002.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Jack Gordon Westrope (1918-1958) - Find A Grave Memorial". Find A Grave. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  2. ^ "Westrope's Rise to Turf Fame Meteoric". The New York Times. December 29, 1933.
  3. ^ a b "Jack Westrope". National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Los Angeles Times - June 20, 1958". Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  5. ^ "Jockey Westrope Sues Track Head". The Pittsburgh Press. March 28, 1940. Retrieved September 12, 2019.