Donald R. Pierce (born April 13, 1937) is a retired U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey in thoroughbred horse racing.
Based in California, Pierce earned his first win in 1954 and went on to become a leading jockey in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1967, he was voted the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award which honors a rider whose career and personal conduct exemplifies the very best example of participants in the sport of thoroughbred racing. Of this recognition by his peers, Pierce said “I’ve got the trophy sitting on my mantle and it’s very important to me. Without a doubt, it ranks close to anything I ever achieved in racing. It’s very, very special.”
Pierce was a four-time winner of California’s most prestigious race, the Santa Anita Handicap, and twice won the most important West Coast race for three-year-olds, the Santa Anita Derby. Out of five appearances in the Kentucky Derby, his best result came in 1980 when he rode Elmendorf Farm’s Super Moment to a fourth-place finish. In his only Preakness Stakes, he finished fourth aboard Flying Paster.
Between 1969 and 1973, Pierce set a California stakes race record by winning five straight editions of the Los Angeles Handicap.
Retired and living in Encinitas, not far from the Del Mar Racetrack. As of 2007, he was still involved in the industry, maintaining an ownership stake in at least one racehorse.
In 2010, Don Pierce was voted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
His brother, Larry Pierce, was also a jockey who rode on the West Coast where he is known for his success at race tracks in Washington state.