Bo Derek talks Kentucky Derby and horse racing

Louisville - During the 1980s, Bo Derek became best known for her role in the 1979 feature film "10."  During those years, men idolized her striking style and women coveted cornrows in their hair. She's been in several films since then and recently had a role in NCIS Miami.

These days her iconic style is most revered as an advocate for animals, but most of all for horses. She currently lives on a ranch in California, where she owns Iberian horses. 

Bo claims, "That only through my career have I been able to work on issues that are most important to me."

Bo was appointed to the California Horse Racing Board by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since then she has received reappointment twice.

Her official title is Vice Chairman of the Board and Commissioner.  The board has been able to make progress with issues in the sport of horse racing recently as California will become the first state to install rules on using the riding crop.

In working closely with the jockeys and riders, they have found rules that they all feel comfortable with. Bo explained, "Jockeys are some of the best athletes in the world and couple that with their courage they are remarkable."  

For riders, the use of posture, voice and body language are part of the riding experience to direct a horse where and when to run. However, on big race days were noise levels are high, a riding crop is a necessary tool to use to command control, especially when the horse may not be familiar with such large crowds. The board's concern is for the welfare of horses and the riders. 

Bo says she was born with an affinity to horses.  Her acting career has afforded her the opportunity to live out her life long dreams to own riding horses.  She loves to bet and thinks it's a lot of fun, but notes that it is usually a sentimental bet for a jockey she knows or an owner's horse that she likes. 

She is especially happy about the success her friend Tony Danza has experienced recently with his horse.

We are about to witness a West Coast runner that is California bred enter the Kentucky Derby as the favorite.  She is really excited about California Chrome's recent achievements and is happy that so many people are rallying around the colt. 

She does believe he possesses the speed and tactical form to accomplish the Kentucky Derby but notes that with a field of 20 contenders, anything can happen and the best horse doesn't always get the best ride. 

She loves the customs and ceremonies the Kentucky Derby offers, and the horses competing are in top form and should all be celebrated for their accomplishments on getting into the starting gates. 

For a stroke of luck, she keeps a Zenyatta button with her as well as a coin from the Special Forces Green Beret that both hold sentimental value to her. 

With the sport of racing evolving, Bo is proud of the roles women have taken on in recent years.  We are seeing more and more women as jockeys and trainers and believes positive statements come from their accomplishments.

With Bo active in the protection of animals she serves on a number of boards including WildAid that tries to prevent illegal wildlife trade and has spoken at the Explorers Club in New York City that supports research and education in physical and natural sciences.  Bo also serves an appointment to Special Envoy of the Secretary of State for Wildlife Trafficking and was recently advocating in Washington D.C.

While Bo has become famous early in life for her acting career, there is so much more to her.  She feels she has been lucky in life and is satisfied with her commitment to animal rights and supporting the racing industry. 

Anyone who meets her will recognize her inner beauty along with her wisdom and her passion for advocating for those without a voice, and we give that a perfect 10.

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