|Cesar Entering the Winner's Circle at Los Alamitos (Photo Courtesy of Esther Kim)|
Cesar De Alba was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to the United States in 1989 when he was just eight years of age. Shortly after the relocation, his father went to work with his uncle at the Dragon Wind horse farm in Valley Center, California. The family took up residence in Valley Center, and as Cesar fondly recalls, it was a childhood marked by considerable happiness. The De Alba household was home to Cesar, his mother and father, as well as a younger and an older sister. Bonds originating during this youthful period have kept the family close up through the present day.
Nearly every facet of Cesar’s life involved horses in one way or another, yet this did not prohibit the growth of a teenager trying to navigate his way through high school. As Cesar explains, “I was extremely shy as a kid, but high school gave me the opportunity to break out of the shell I had been in.” At Orange Glen High School in Escondido, Cesar flourished both in and out of the classroom, giving all he had to scholastic studies, while taking part in soccer as encouraged by his parents. On the soccer field, Cesar discovered the competitive prowess that would soon become vital to his days in the saddle.
|Cesar with Paul Jones and Assistant Trainer Rocke Gonzalez (Photo Courtesy of Esther Kim)|
Coming of age as a professional athlete requires not only experience, but a certain measure of time. At thirty-three years of age, Cesar De Alba believes that his newfound maturity has had a great deal to do with his revival on the race track. “I am more focused now than ever before,” he admits. Cesar takes pleasure in sharing what he has learned with young riders. His aim is to be the hand of reason that was absent during his own days as an apprentice. “The best advice I can give to a young jockey is that nothing is as important as remaining humble,” he proclaims.
|Cesar De Alba with Becky and Baby Kevin|
Cesar’s love for the animals is apparent from the second he begins to speak. “Horses are not machines. They are living, breathing creatures that can have an off day, an off hour, or even an off moment. This is something the general public sometimes forgets,” he says. What will not be forgotten is the resounding willingness to work and desire to learn that has aided Cesar in becoming a more accomplished jockey, and a more well-rounded man.