04/19/2017 4:03PM

Former jockey Jane Proctor dies at 61


Jane Proctor, a pioneering female jockey who rode as Jane Driggers, using her maiden name, and later married horseman Hap Proctor, has died in Florida after suffering from an aggressive, malignant brain tumor. She was 61.

Jane Proctor was extremely well known and well liked in the Pacific Northwest, where she was raised and began her career; in California, where she rode as a jockey and then as an exercise rider after marrying Hap; and in Florida, where she and her husband worked at Glen Hill Farm in Ocala, where Hap was the general manager for more than two decades.

Jane Proctor, who was born and raised in Oregon, first rode at Portland Meadows in 1972 at age 16 while still a sophomore in high school and won with her first mount there. She had great success at Portland Meadows, Playfair – where she was the first female jockey to ride an entire card – and Salem, and in 1975, she won the Memorial Day Handicap at Longacres on the fleet Grey Papa, becoming the first female rider to win a stakes race at that historic track.

After riding at Golden Gate and Bay Meadows, where she met her husband, she retired in 1983. She and Hap Proctor – the older brother of trainer Tom Proctor and son of the legendary trainer Willard Proctor – were married in 1984, while Hap was a trainer. In 1991, they left Southern California when Hap took the farm manager’s job at Leonard Lavin’s Glen Hill Farm.

Every summer, though, the Proctors would visit friends in Del Mar. Last Christmas, owing to Jane’s prognosis, the Proctors had a final family vacation to Del Mar.

Jane Proctor is survived by her husband of 33 years, their two sons – John and Ben – and Em Doyle, whom they raised as foster parents and with whom they remained extremely close. She is also survived by her two older brothers, Joe and Jed Driggers.

Hap Proctor said a celebration of life will be held for Jane at Glen Hill on April 29. In lieu of flowers, he said his wife requested donations be made to The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind Inc., 371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, N.Y. 11787.