Monday, June 30, 2008

Marshaling at Scarborough Downs 6/29/08

I LOVE to marshal at Scarborough Downs. It is so much fun! Here is what they had on their website:

Sunday, June 29 - Scarborough Downs Anniversary PARTY! Come have a blast with us as we celebrate our 58th year of business! Sponsored by Pepsi. Things kick off at 12:30. Great giveaways. Live National Anthem by 11-year-old Sydney Martin. The Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of Maine will perform demos on the track with some lovely retired race horses - come see the show! Also, Breeders Stake Races: 3 Year Old Colt Pacers race. Live racing post time begins at 1:30 pm. Player Rewards Card holders earn 3 points on Scarborough Downs live races! Admission is FREE.

So one of the lovely retired racehorses was Ms. Dreamy Starlet. :) We did a jumping demo on the track.....I wanted to start with a crossrail and go up to a larger vertical....but after going over the crossrail I felt how hard the track was and decided not to go higher. I thought the track was "wet" enough to provide more cushion, but man it was hard on the landing. I jumped the X three times and called it good. :)

Then we marshaled 12 races along with McKeever and Shelly and Treat and Deb. We had a blast. Dreamy was a ball of nerves when we got off the trailer. She is not disobedient AT ALL, nor did I feel unsafe AT ALL, she just gets wound up being back at the track. SO we had no halt or walk until Race 3. LOL! But we did have our half halts as least. Foolish mare. The best thing I have ever learned about marshaling is that you HAVE to be calm despite your horse. I know my horse well enough to know she will calm down and that she is still safe. Therefore, I do NOT yell or use a whip or yank her around angrily (as I have seen other marshals do in years past.....grrrr.) You get what you expect......I expected her to be OK and she was. Now, did I demand that she halt at first? No. I expected her to halt for one second and then I moved her off. But I kept her going FORWARD the entire time. Eventually we were halted for 3 mins. at a time while the race was going. But had I demanded she halt for 3 mins. in the beginning? We would've had one hell of a pulling match for the entire day and we both would have been ugly.

After the qualifiers but before the actual race card, Shelly and I trotted around the track. I have never ridden over the entire half mile, so it was pretty cool. McKeever and Dreamy were matched stride for stride almost all the way around (except when Mc would do his shuffle gait..LOL). They almost look alike too. :) The track would be a cool place to come and do some canter/gallop intervals. LOL! I wonder if I could get permission for that...... but alas it would probably be too hard anyway.

I let her do a HUGE lofty extended trot in the post parade the first 3 times and boy that did the trick! ;-) She tuckered out and decided maybe she ought to WALK and then HALT while we waited between races. We even got some gorgeous 3 beat canters down in front of the grandstand going back.

And the most amazing part? NO PACING at ALL! I was rather dumbfounded, since in the past she will trot down during post parade and as soon as the #1 horse comes up to her shoulder she would automatically switch to pace. But none of that. She just trotted and cantered and LISTENED to me. It was awesome.

We are both tired today. Our demo was at 12:45, races started at 1:30 and we dismounted at 5:30ish PM. Home by 7PM. Long day, but I cannot wait to do it again! :) Dreamy gets today off and maybe even tomorrow! :) We have our horse trial this Sunday, so I will try to ride the rest of the week.

So I bought two pics from the track photographer, Ed.
Before our Stadium Jumping Demo

Here we are! I am on the far right.

Photos by EJS Photography


AND......Dreamy made it onto the Scarborough Downs website! :) Thanks Susan H.!


Dreamy Starlet, a 17-year-old retired Standardbred mare, owned by Elizabeth Tewksbury, gets a bath after her performance on the track Sunday for our anniversary celebration. Dreamy, along with McKeever Hanover and Treat with Passion, performed out on the track with the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of Maine,doing jumps and demonstrations of various gaits. Photo by S. Higgins.

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