Over the last 25 years, Jimmy Jerkens, the son of Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, has carved out a successful career, winning multiple races in New York landmarks.
But who is the driving force behind the legendary trainer? Continue reading to learn more about Jimmy Jerkens’ wife and why she is so important to him.
Jimmy Jerkens’ Accomplishments
- Jimmy Jerkens has been a New York Racing Association circuit regular for almost 50 years.
- Jerkens has won 846 races out of 4249 runners as of 2023.
- His horses earned $61,420,803 in total as of 2023.
- He won the Travers with Afleet Express in 2010, and four years later, he went 1-2 with V. E. Day and Wicked Strong.
- Artie Schiller, the 2005 BC Mile winner, was perhaps his greatest horse, winning seven prizes in a career in which he went 10 for 22 and earned $2,088,853.
How The Love Birds Met
The trainer is happily married to his spouse, Shirley Jerkens. The duo attended Walt Whitman High School in Huntington, where Jimmy was two years her senior.
The couple met at a polo property where she kept her horse. Shirley Jerkens’ husband was there with his dad, H. Allen Jerkens, and his brother, Steve Jerkens.
Jimmy Jerkens’ spouse was 13 years old when they first met. They dated each other for five years before splitting up.
The breakup was because she wanted to get out there and see the world. Furthermore, destiny brought them back together twenty-five years later.
The pair met one another 25 years later during a polo match in Miami. They just got to talking, and things progressed from there.
Shirley explained that she discovered Jimmy was recently divorced from his wife, and she was getting a divorce from her spouse.
If you are a horse racing person, please join the challenge of posting a racing photo that you shot – your own photograph, of a special moment. Just one image, no description.
Please copy this text in your status, post your photo – and then enjoy everyone’s great memories/pics! pic.twitter.com/arbVukCrMN
— Shirley Jerkens (@DocShirlJ) March 30, 2020
They had dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab, and later, they walked together through the rain. From that moment till now, the couple have been together.
Who is Jimmy Jerkens’ Wife Shirley?
Jimmy Jerkens’ spouse works for the New York State Department of Education. She also has a small private business serving athletes aged 8 to 18.
In addition, Mrs. Jerkens is a skilled rider and enjoys galloping horses for her spouse every summer. Shirley understands and appreciates the work her husband does.
Shirley Jerkens’ hubby doesn’t take vacations and returns to the barn thrice daily. She even helps him observe how the horses are behaving at the time and couldn’t be prouder of him.
Meeting Each Other At The Right Time
Shirley Jerkens’ husband was in a bad place when he met her after 25 years. Jimmy had recently gotten divorced, and he was pretty down.
Jimmy Jerkens’ father suggested going out independently and even gave his son some of his horses to get him started. And his success was instant.
In his first full year on his own, Shirley Jerkens’ hubby won 35 of 186 races and earned $1.4 million from his horses. Not bad for a rookie of 39 years old. For 13 years in a row, he earned more than $1 million.
While most of this success came from hard work, we cannot overlook the presence of Jimmy Jerkens’ other half during this time. She had been a rock and helped her husband overcome his demons.
With Shirley at his side, Jimmy managed to carve out a legacy for himself and become the legend he is today.
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A New Challenge
Starting in May of 2023, Jerkens will leave New York – and the United States – to train for Prince Faisal bin Khalid Al Saud in Saudi Arabia. He has a two-year deal and will own around 50 to 60 horses.
The veteran won’t be the only trainer, but he will have the cream of the crop. While grateful for this new opportunity, Jerkens was saddened by the prospect of having to leave the US to find suitable horses again.
Jimmy Jerkens’ wife Shirley will join him in Saudi Arabia once her school year finishes.
People wonder if Jimmy could be as famous as he is today without his wife by him. Guess we will never know.
Thankfully Jimmy Jerkens’ life partner is ever present and continues to provide support to this day.
We wish the happy couple more success in Saudi and their life.