...the reality is that you have a person who would run over another human with a train if a horse was in danger--and who would park the train immediately, and whip out a notebook or iPad computer, to document the experience while it's still fresh in the mind. Then turn the notes into a screenplay, "...the next great horse movie."
No, writers--as one of my heroes, Richard Castle (the fictitious--or not?--lead character of ABC's "Castle," expertly played by the gorgeous Nathan Fillion)--as Richard Castle would say--we writers are a wily, dangerous bunch. Never underestimate us.
I would add to that, ...especially if we're horse lovers who turn our writing to our passion, the Mighty Equine.
As anyone who knows me knows, I've been a lover of Thoroughbred horses and horse racing since I was four. That would make me a fan, since I celebrated my fourth birthday almost 52 years ago.
There's no doubt in my heart--I love Thoroughbreds. So those of you who keep track of things that aren't your business--or who are always looking for reasons to condemn other people, under the guise of "worrying" about them--don't worry, I'm good. Love me some Thoroughbreds. And regarding whether that love is "enough," don't worry, girls--still good. I love Thoroughbreds, through-and-through.
But, as you also know--in the last three years, I've fallen in love with Arabian horses. And I love Arabian horse racing, and the amazing community of people from all over the world who make it happen. As much as I adore my peeps who do Thoroughbreds--I have to say I've never felt as welcome in the Thoroughbred world as I feel with the Arabian race horse family of lovers/owners/breeders/trainers/jocks/bloodstock agents/etc.
I am blessed with an awesome group of friends, with whom I hang at the races--especially in Our Backstretch--I wouldn't trade them for the world. Ad I know some dear, sweet trainers, owners, exercise riders, etc. I am never happier than during those six weeks in August, surrounded by thousands of horses and many humans whom I adore and respect.
But the Arabian racing community welcomed me as Family from even before I met them in person. No, really. Every single person I've met in Arabian racing treats me like a long-lost Family member. Hugs, kisses, gracious hospitality. I feel like a combination rock star/beloved sister/niece/friend. I'm not sure where I fall in the Arabian racing world--all I know is that, from the first time I extended my hand to shake an Arabian owner's hand--and got a hug, instead--never have I felt like an outsider.
I'm still learning about Arabians and the sport of racing them--but no one treats me like a newbie, or someone who can't learn the ropes. I look forward to every Arabian race with joyous anticipation, because I know that I'll get that warm, genuinely-fuzzy, not-faux feeling of warm acceptance.
Nice feeling to know.
And that, my friends, is precisely why I started an organization for peeps like me.
Effective immediately, the Arabian Turf Writers' Association is in session.
We have a fine example to follow: the National Turf Writers' Association
is for writers who cover Thoroughbred racing, and they do some wonderful things along the way. (I'm not a member...yet. Not sure how that process plays out, even. Perhaps I'm not eligible for some reason? Note to self: Figure out the NTWA, and how to join.)
But even though I'm not-yet a member, I've attended the New York Turf Writers' Dinners in Saratoga, and witnessed first-hand the fact that the group encourages sister-and-brotherhood among the members. People who are wild about horse racing, and about writing about the sport. Camaraderie with people of like mind. They do good for many others--horse and human, alike--AND strive with the race tracks and everyone else in the sport, to help grow the industry.
(Really, every professional sport should have organizations of people who write about the sport. Not that I give a tiny rat's patootie about any sport that doesn't involve a horse. Gigantic male people and a ball of some shape--but no horse? Who cares? Just sayin'.)
The United States Harness Writers Association, as well, covers Standardbred harness racing, and works with that industry to assure that their sport has maximum exposure. So many well-penned articles and publications--by people who are knowledgeable and passionate about their horses and their endeavours. Now, that, too, is what I'm talkin' about.
And then we come to Arabian horse racing. Ironic that the oldest-extant breed of horse on Earth--the Arabian, whose countenances can be seen gracing Egyptian jars from 5,000 years ago, the breed that has inspired millions of people for over five millenia--should not have an organized effort by writers to share the love.
One of the main jobs of writers is to inspire--someone--to do/think/do/want--something. The National Turf Writers' Association has many members who inspire people to learn about Thoroughbreds, and the sport. To come on out to the track, and become part of the family. Ibid., The United States Harness Writers Association--they are helping to grow the sport of harness racing in America, by sharing their joy and the fun of harness racing with readers from all over the world.
So I sat back and looked at these things...and I Googled the heck out of various configurations of the words, and of phrases...and could not find an organization, anywhere on this blue marble we call, Earth--that addresses the need of those who write about Arabian racing, to come together as a sororo-fraternity. And I think that is a darned shame.
It's a shame because there are many of us out there, I'll bet, who write about Arabian racing. You may be in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sweden, Iraq, Qatar, Russia, Bahrain, Australia, the United States, Canada--or Mars. You may have a blog, a regular column in a local newspaper or own a magazine, for which you write the majority of the content.
But whatever you're doing out there, if you're writing about Arabian horse racing--I want to know about you. And I want you to know about me. And I want you to be encouraged, and to do the same, for me and others.
And most of all--I want us to put our words together, and to help grow the sport of Arabian horse racing. Yes, in man parts of the world, it has a solid foundation and centuries of followers. And in other parts of God's Green Earth, it's still in the growing stages. And that's cool--wherever Arabian racing is in its path, we want to help it to prosper and achieve the biggest dreams possible.
I know one thing: if the National Turf Writers' Association states as one of its goals, that they aim to participate in the growth of Toroughbred racing--then so, too, should those of us who write about Arabian racing aim to aid this sport. We should state as a goal that we promise to work with race tracks, owners, breeders, bloodstock agents, jockeys, exercise riders and other media--to help enlighten the public to this beautiful sports.
The pen can be mightier than the sword--but if the pen never is applied to paper--if the words never make it outside the writer's head and into the Universe, and the reading public's field of vision--then the words are useless, like seed falling onto rocks.
If you write about Arabian horse racing--or if you want to--I invite you to join the Arabian Turf Writers' Association. If you love Arabian horses, and never thought of writing before--but would like to be encouraged, and perhaps to find your way in the sport as a turf writer--please come along, we will encourage you.
If you love three other breeds of horse, and follow a dozen other disciplines--but still, Arabian racing has caught your fancy--yes, we want you to write with us, to become part of the sport. We welcome you into our society of Arabian turf writers.
There's nothing, anywhere, that states that you can't be a rabid fan of two or more breeds of racing horse, my friends and colleagues. I am living proof, that the heart can be wholly handed over--and passion shared--to both my beloved Thoroughbreds, and now to my treasured Arabians. I write about Thoroughbred racing, I write about Arabian racing--and I see no conflict there. Anyone who tells you that you must pick one is, well, acting like a 12-year-old.
If those men I know--great writers, all--who write about Thoroughbreds until 7PM, then cross Nelson Avenue and write about harness racing 'til midnight--if they can be successful, and happy, and feeling very, very fulfilled by loving two--then so can you.
Wherever you are on the planet--if you love Arabian racing, write about them or want to--please join the Arabian Turf Writers' Association. In the coming months, we'll elect officers for the first year; design website and all that.
But for today, we have a declaration: the Arabian Turf Writers' Association has broken from the gate...and...we're...OFF!
P.S. The second book in my children's series (The Alpha Mare Series) stars Alia, an Arabian horse who was born to race. I anticipate that Alia's book will be released early in 2012. And, yes, the heroine of my book is named for HRH Princess Alia Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, with her permission and blessing. I did a phone interview 11 days ago with HRH Princess Alia, and am turning that into an article for the next issue of Desert Mirage magazine. Stay Tuned for more Arabian racing stuff--and write me at
The Alpha Mare Series on Caballo Press:
Desert Mirage magazine: