The daughter of a racehorse trainer, Anna Lee Aldred began riding at three and racing ponies at six. By twelve, she rode flat and relay races. At age eighteen, at the Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, officials tried to deny her from receiving a license and racing the track. However, they could not find anywhere in the rules stating women could not ride, so she was issued the license for Mexico. With receiving her license in Mexico, this made her the first American woman to receive a jockey’s license. A fierce competitor, Aldred retired from racing in 1944 and started a riding school in California. One year later she began trick riding and performed in major rodeo shows throughout the western states.