Sunday, October 12, 2008

SUPER SIRE STAKES WEEKEND! October 11-12


Marshaling is just about one of my most favorite things to do in the entire world. There are no judges, ribbons, or scores. It is all volunteer and I do it out of pure love for the sport of harness racing. And of course, promoting my wonderful STB as a riding horse!

I spent the entire weekend of Oct. 11-12, 2008 at Scarborough Downs. Saturday was the Maine Breeders Stakes Finals for 2-year-olds and Sunday was the finals for three-year-olds.

On Saturday I spent the day at the SPHO booth, along with Charles Leerhsen, the author of the new book Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America. (Oh dear, there is no underline tool, so I have to italicize the title). SPHO sold the book and of course Mr. Leerhsen signed them! HUGE THANKS goes out to Don Marean for calling me up to ask whether or not this was something SPHO wanted to do. He literally gave SPHO first dibs on the fundraiser. VERY COOL. Mr. Leerhsen and his wife were a pleasure to be with. He signed my copy of his book and even signed a poster for me. :) I love meeting authors...and even better that this one wrote about a horse! LOL!

I got to have my fair share of track food, chat up some STB folks, and even bet on a race and the horse actually won! YEE-HAW! Of course the odds were such that I only made a quarter, but what the hey.

Sunday was even more exciting as I marshaled the race card with my friend ST....the same ST who I went to NJ with! We always have such fun when we are together. I am sad in a way that we never met in our younger years, as I think we could have caused A LOT of trouble together! LOL! Now we have to be mature married ladies......no fun!

Anyway, both Dreamy and McKeever (who both look lovely as my new blog title picture, don;t you think? Hope you don't mind being in the blog Shel!) were absolutely wonderful on the track. Dreamy only lost her halt this time for 2 races. She did her normal "Holy-cow-I-am-at-the-track-and-I-cannot-contain-my-excitement!" routine so I opted to trot her out for a mile on the back track before the races started. It brought her down a hair, but she was still pretty much as high as a kite. Half halt? Contact? HUH??? LOL! At least she is NOT at all dangerous, just frisky! I did ride her a little deep for the first few races, as she was VERY ugly at having to be on contact and I just let her fight me. She finally figured out I was NOT giving in, whether we were at home, a lesson, or even at the track.


By the end of the second race, she was like, "Oh yeah, this marshaling stuff again. No use acting like an idiot." AHHHHH.....soft contact and a ride without any fights. At least she does not have major meltdowns anymore.....just a crow hop now and then and a HUGE head toss to try to unseat me once and a while. :)


Here is the newly calm Dreamy chilling after post parade and right before the race began...down at the far side of the grandstand.

It was nice to be able to SIT and wait for the race to be over instead of having to walk around and around and around and around and around......and around. She does like to do her amazingly huge trot down the post parade and when I let her do it, we do leave McKeever in the dust. While Dreamy is naturally forward anyway, and she becomes CRAZY forward at the track, McKeever could never be mistaken for forward.....ever. So we did our normal trot a couple of times and just HAD TO do the crazy big and fun trot a few rimes. It is just too much fun to be on a horse whose hooves all leave the ground at the trot and have the wind whizzing by your ears so much that tears form.

And of course one time one of the vets was on the fence and asked if she could canter...so ST said, "Well now you can canter down the next time!" I figured we would end up falling on our faces, since someone would be watching. But no, Dreamy did her nice little bouncy forward canter down the post parade. How fun. She was even ROUND! I WISH someone had gotten a pic of that! And ST told me that the vet was pointing and everyone was cheering while we cantered down. LOL! We cantered down one other time. Micky even cantered for ST! YAY!!!!!


At the end we took a nice canter around the back track......McKeever paced the entire way and kept up with Dreamy. Too funny.....that boy can MOVE!
So that was my fun and exciting weekend. I LOVE LOVE LOVE marshaling and wish I could do it as a real job. OH speaking of, someone on the apron said something like, "Oh what a nice job to have" about marshaling and I was like, "Oh this is no job, this is volunteer work!" She was surprised. LOL!

Thanks to Ed and Derek for taking such good photos! At least you did not forget me this time Ed! LOL! Just kidding......
Am I having a blast or what? :)

The rest of these photos were taken by a young rider named MM.


WOO-HOOOO! LOOK at THAT posture! My instructor better be proud! :)


Nothing like having NO hooves on the ground! This is way too fun....the BIG TROT down the post parade. No way was the Dream Girl letting the One Horse beat her! LOL! Funny how she was not competitive at all when she raced and NOW she is.



*New photos taken by a new friend from the track...she took nearly 200 photos of us, put them on a CD, but refused to take any money. Her pics are fabulous!

7 comments:

  1. Great pictures! I really love that first one.

    I like the one of Dreamy "racing" too! Will still does his race-trot when he's excited, but I think if he got on the track again he'd probably GALLOP instead. I'd love to try marshalling some day.

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  2. Go Dreamy! I looks like a lot of fun!

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  3. Thanks guys....it was so much fun. Dreamy is surprsingly good at the track. Usually they are....it is all about how the RIDER interprets the situation. When a rider thinks, "OMG my horse is going to freak out!" then they usually do. She loves to do her big trot down during post parade and "beat" the #1 horse. She goes so darn fast! But the best part is that all it takes is a light squeeze on the reins and a shift in weight and she comes right back down. NTAT, you definitely have to try marshaling sometime!!!!

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  4. I have taken Duncan back to the track a couple of times. Let me tell you he is a different horse, it's like his brain clicks to "IT"S TIME TO RACE." I just let him go and do his thing. I don't know how he would be marshalling, maybe I'll have E try it on him she does such an incredible flying dismount when he decides his one of those Austrian horses. LOL

    You guys look great and I know you were having a blast.

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  5. Oh boy, Duncan at the track! Not sure I want to do another flying dismount anytime soon! LOL!

    So J, how do you like my posure in that photo of us trotting by the toteboard? Just a little better huh???? :)

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  6. Whoops, did not proofread...meant POSTURE.

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  7. LOL, You are a 1000% improved over last year my dear. And your horse loves you for it. cackle cackle.

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