Michelle Niehi was born March 27, 1971, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to American parents. She currently resides in Louisville, Ky. She Graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Master's degree and received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Kentucky.
She has been around horses her since childhood in Canada. After receiving her Ph.D, she spent 4 ½ years working at Johns Hopkins, becoming part of the junior faculty. In time, she lost interest in science and followed her heart back to Kentucky. In 2001, she went to Keeneland, looking for work as an exercise rider and started out galloping horses for Andrew McKeever and Dallas Stewart, among others. In 2003, she became an assistant trainer and exercise rider for Christopher Speckert. She has also worked for Rebecca Maker, The turning point in her career came later in 2003 when she went to work for Todd Pletcher. She handled strings in Kentucky, Florida and Delaware for Pletcher. She played a role in the training of numerous graded stakes winners for Pletcher, including Ashado, Wait a While, Flower Alley, Balto Star, Lawyer Ron, Scat Daddy and English Channe.
She went out on her own in Dec. 2007 and won her first race with Heartaches at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 6, 2008.She recorded her first stakes win with Sousaphone in the Vivacious Handicap at River Downs in 2008. She won her first graded stakes in 2010 with Prince Will I Am, who staged a last-to-first rally to capture the G1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park … Her main circuits are Churchill Downs, Saratoga and Tampa Bay Downs.