Shantel Lanerie, wife of veteran jockey Corey Lanerie, dies at 42

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Shantel Lanerie Corey Lanerie
The Lanerie family conducting a radio interview on Kentucky Oaks Day 2018. (Photo courtesy HRRN)

The horse racing community is grieving Friday night upon the news of the passing of Shantel Lanerie, the wife of veteran jockey Corey Lanerie, who lost her battle with breast cancer. She was 42.

The Laneries are both Louisiana natives. Shantel, the daughter of a horse trainer, was a graduate of Cecilia High School.

Corey Lanerie, a native of Lafayette and a third-generation horseman, has become one of the most successful jockeys on the Midwest circuit. As of Friday, he had 4,407 career victories – eight wins shy of moving into the top 50 all-time in Thoroughbred racing history – and was given the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Award in 2014.

The leading jockey at 15 of the last 17 meets at Churchill Downs, Lanerie entered this week in a battle with longtime friend Brian Hernandez Jr. for the riding title at Churchill’s spring meet, but took off his mounts Thursday night and Friday afternoon when Shantel was taken to a Louisville-area hospital.

Even though much of his year was spent on the Kentucky circuit, the Laneries were regulars at the Fair Grounds meet through 2013 and again this winter. For many years, Shantel Lanerie worked as a mutuels department clerk on the Gentilly track’s suite level.

Shantel Lanerie became the face of breast cancer awareness efforts in Kentucky this spring, including “Horses and Hope” day at Keeneland Race Course and Kentucky Oaks day at Churchill Downs, when she was at the front of the parade of 144 breast cancer survivors. Jockeys across the country supported her battle with pink leg bands sporting the message “Fight with Shantel.”

In addition to her husband, Shantel Lanerie leaves behind their 10-year-old daughter, Brittlyn.

Friday’s sad news traveled quickly throughout the wide range of the horse racing industry – be it fellow jockeys, trainers, wives, analysts or announcers – who paid tribute via social media, starting with Corey Lanerie’s former agent, Rick Mocklin.

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Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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