Donna Barton Brothers

Donna Barton Brothers headshot

Donna Barton Brothers

Donna Barton Brothers was born into horse racing. Her mother, Patti Barton, was one of the first half dozen women to be licensed as a jockey in the United States—that was in 1969. Throughout Patti Barton’s career (and until four years after her retirement) she was the leading female rider in the nation by number of wins. Patti retired from racing in 1984 with just over 1,200 wins.

Both Donna’s brother, Jerry, and sister, Leah, were jockeys—briefly. Donna rode professionally (as Donna Barton) from 1987 to 1998 and retired as the second-leading female jockey in the United States by money earned with 1,130 career wins. After retiring from racing Donna married Frank Brothers. In 1999 she started covering horse racing on TV, beginning that year with TVG, and then NBC Sports in 2000.

Since 2000, she has covered the Breeder’s Cup Championships, World Equestrian Games, PBR World Championships, Land Rover (formerly Rolex) Kentucky Three Day Event, the Triple Crown races and more, for NBC and NBC Sports Network. She is also the author of “Inside Track: Insider’s Guide to Horse Racing”, first published in 2010 and now in it’s third edition. The book can be found on Amazon and 100% of profits go to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

She currently serves on the boards of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF), and the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky (BIAK). She is also serving on the newly formed HISA Steering Committee to recommend and develop programming in support of the mental health and wellness of jockeys.