Saratoga Horse Racing

Recently in Horsemanitarianism 101 Category

So much has been written about me in the last week, and will be written about my tribe of equines in the near future.  Concerned about my welfare and that of members of my society, humans are all up in arms today, worried--ranting and reporting--bout our welfare.

And we appreciate that--really, we do.  

But it strikes us that the problem really is more complicated than the media would have us believe:

*  Everyone's acting like this is a revelation, that allegedly, a horse trainer did bad things to members of my tribe.  

*  Everyone's acting like allegations such as these happen only in Thoroughbred racing. 

*  Every time something like this happens, humans get all fuss-and-feathers, and start squawking that this is a "wake-up call," as if it's the first time anyone has heard of anything like it.

*  Horse racing is not the only sport that uses members of my equine tribe, and yet it's been singled out as being satan, incarnate.  YES, the sport IS in dire need of fixing.  You humans have GOT to get your act together, and put us--noting but us--first and foremost.  Otherwise, all this ridiculous, political infighting will keep men in blue suits rich and us, unprotected.

*  We haven't heard about an expose in any major newspaper "busting wide open" the disgusting, evil practice of soring.  

*  And the "New York  Times" has printed several articles that side with the New York City horse carriage trade.   

From our perspective--this is wildly inconsistent.  Either you care about the welfare of ALL we horses--or you don't.   Either the "Times" is a real newspaper--or it has an agenda far-deeper than exposing horse abuse.  And that agenda, itself, should be investigated.  Is the "Times" receiving money from some politician who hates horse racing?  Does the paper need simply to sell more rags?

And I'm thinking  that horse carriage drivers don't dine in five-star restaurants, so the perks of investigating them aren't as cool as hanging with Thoroughbred trainers.   (The "Times" does a lot of citing of veterinarians and quotes by carriage drivers who  lament the possible loss of their careers and their lifestyles.  Hmmmm...)

It's obvious to us that you humans can't decide which horse welfare causes are worthy of your time, and which can be swept under the rug.  Your priorities are as messed up as your human society, itself.

So I have decided that the time had come for me to tell you about myself, and about members of my tribe.  Clearly, you people need some education.  And you need to realize that the American attitude about horse welfare for ALL horses must be changed, or nothing will change, at all...
White Horse of Uffington
So, I called the United Nations today.    I wanted to know if indeed today was International Day of the Horse.  Like a bear fighting her way out of a thicket, I punched away at 1s and 2s and 4s until finally I spoke with an actual human being.

That human being--a nice woman, who kept calling me,"Sir"--told me that, if today was International Day of the Horse, there would have been a memo in the emails of everyone associated with the United Nations. 

No email today. They didn't get the memo, as they say.

You see, today in the United States, it's National Day of the Horse.  On the Facebook page of the Equine Welfare Alliance, we're informed that the Congress of the United States declared December 13th to be National Day of the Horse, in 2004.  This is an annual celebration of The Horse, and the debt of gratitude that Americans owe to the God-given species.

The entire world should celebrate The Horse, as well--so earlier this year, Her Royal
 Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein decided to put a proposal before the United Nations, to declare the same date as International Day of the Horse...
Here in the United States, this coming Thursday (November 28th) is a holiday we call, Thanksgiving.

I'm sure that every country in the world has a similar holiday:  a day set aside to thank God for all we have--for all whom we love--for health, joy, life and peace.  (Theoretically, that's the idea, anyway.)

The Race Track Chaplaincy of America / New York Division once again will do two really wonderful Thanksgiving-ish things for the people whom they serve with great love, 365 days a year.  I've just taken the NYRA (New York Racing Association) press release that I received a few minutes ago--jijjed it up a bit--and highlighted contact info for both donors and media.

No fancy pictures--not even NYRA or RTCANY logos in this one:  my computer had a cerebral hemorrhage this week, and I'm using a loaner until or unless my laptop can be fixed. So this is a bare-bones article--I hope that you don't need pretty pictures or logos--I hope that words are enough to convince you to care.  And if you care...perhaps you'll decide to help.

Thanks for reading, folks--have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving, wherever you are.  And if you're not in America on Thursday, November 28th--heck, celebrate with us, anyway!  Have a turkey, tofurkey or sprouts sandwich, and thank God for all you've got. 

This one will be relatively short and sweet, for the need is urgent.

Monique (Monika) Kierach is a horse-loving woman who possesses one of the kindest hearts on this (or any other) planet.

She cannot stand to see a horse in pain--or neglected, abused or otherwise ill-treated.  I know that you all feel the same, or you wouldn't be reading this.

Monika sent around an email, and a request:  help her rescue this herd of horses from a man whose just not doing right by them.

You've always wanted a horse?  You love horses as much as Monika and I, and want to do something?  

The best thing that can be written on your gravestone is, 

"I Saved a Horse's Life."  

And here's your chance...
I've spent the better part of a decade writing, talking and generally being a nuisance in my quest to help bring females fully into the fold in horse racing.

Not that we're not fans of the sport--in fact, we're the majority of all paid admissions and television viewers.  Id est, we are the majority of the fan base.

Not that we don't hold positions of authority in many places:  NYRA is a prime example of a racing organization that can boast of many women in management.

The reasons why I'm still blowing this horn is that, inasmuch as we are the majority of the fan base, and work daily in virtually every job in the industry--still there are places where women are not welcome in horse racing.  

Like, board rooms.

And many racing organizations (we won't name names here, Magna...) still host idiotic, demeaning, dehumanizing events like bikini contests to determine who should be an "ambassador" for the sport.

In other words:  there's work to be done, and minds to open.  

At least until women are taken off the banquet table and invited to the board of directors' table...
Feedlot Horse PhoenixRidingHorseRescue.JPGI've been thinking about this for several weeks now.  Like many of you who are involved with horse racing--I spend part of every day of my Life feeling guilty, and thinking that I should just pack it up and take a job as secretary to some corporate moron.  

You know--a 9-to-5 gig, in which I never take work home with me, not even mentally. Mindless, spineless--no emotional connection to the job, the work or my co-workers.  Get a (slim) paycheck for basically putting up with the control issues of a corporate wonk with low self-esteem.

I know that I can't go back to that--but also I can't justify being in horse racing, unless I DO Something.  Horse racing has its detractors--and some of the criticism is justified.

But racing also has its fine, amazing points:  chief among those are The Horses...

An Open Letter to the New York State Gaming Commission:

Dear Gaming Commission:

I am writing you today not just as a resident of New York State, or as a somewhat-interested party.

I am writing you because I am thoroughly entrenched in the world of horses and horse racing as a media representative, second--and horse-lover, first...
My peeps.  I know you love horses. You wouldn't be reading the ramblings of this crazy Broad, if you weren't a horse lover. So you know that I'm obsessed, too.
Garmin Aab.jpg

But Love without action is useless.

If we say that we love someone--we talk about it all the time--blog about it--post photos of our beloved all Facebook--"like" everything that s/he posts--but wouldn't walk across the street if that person was strangling on a chicken bone--HOW can we call that, Love?

It's not.  
Gunsmoke Arab in Washington State.jpg
The easy stuff:  "liking," posting, waxing poetic--all that amounts to a pile of nothing.

Action is the evidence of Love.

You love horses.  I love horses.  So I'm telling you today--Tuesday, August 27, 2013--that four Arabian horses in Washington State need homes, ASAP.

They look like racing Arabians, to me.  

Regardless if they're show or racing Arabs, the bottom line is that the slaughterhouse has their names and is counting the minutes until these beautiful geldings get strung up by the hooves and exsanguinated, alive.

Garfield Arab.jpg
We do not want this to happen.  

We cannot save every horse on Earth, but we may be able to save these four.  

Only $400 apiece--the same price that a killbuyer--you know, those evil people who are on their way to Hell?--the same price that a killbuyer would pay.

For four-hundred bucks, a horse's life can be saved, and you can get the best friend you'll ever have.  For $1600, you can have FOUR best friends.

Please do me--do the horses--a favor.  Time IS of the essence.  
Governor Arab.jpg
Please share this link, this article, the link to J&M Acres Horse Rescue's page about the boys:

Share this information with everyone you know, everyone you can.  Thank you so much.  God bless you.

The Facebook invitation reads thus:

Come join us for an evening of fun and fellowship on Friday, August 16th in the Courtyard of The Inn at Saratoga, from 5PM - 9PM.  Show your support for an amazing organization dedicate to animal welfare, and to promoting low-cost spay/neuter services.  Check out our display on "The Oklahoma Cats," our program with NYRA and a benevolent horse owner, to care for the feral cats at the historic Saratoga Race Course.

Tickets for the Raining Cats and Dogs Gala are $40 per person ($45 at the door), and include wine an beer tasting tables; a light fare buffet an live music.  In the spirit of racing season, place your bi on one of our amazing Silent Auction items! 

If you love animals and want to show your support, this event is not to be missed!!!  

So on the surface, it sounds like another nice social event during the hectic Saratoga racing and social season.  And on the surface, also, it may not seem to be related directly to horses or horse racing--or does it?  Read on, O Friends, and I'll explain to you why you should attend this party.  If you don't do anything social the rest of the Saratoga meet, this is all you need to have fun, spend hardly-a-thing, and do tremendous good for a population that's rarely considered...

I've tried for over two weeks to get logos and photos for this article, about the Race Track Chaplaincy's annual basketball game.

My efforts have resulted in nothing at all:  no photos, no logos, sent from the uber-efficient assistant in the office of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, New York Division.

That's because, while RTCANY has people who stop in, people who help out a lot--there is no such humanly critter as an uber-efficient Assistant, who works full-time, 40-hours-a-week.  

No Office Manager or Marketing Director, whose job it is to respond to the silly questions of writers.  Even writers with good intentions don't have the juice to acquire a digital copy of the RTCANY's logo--but that's OK. 

Speaking from personal experience, I've emailed, asked in-person, handed my card over to the Chaplain (whose known me for many years)--and still, no pictures or logos to draw your eye to this article.  (I guess I'm on my own:  thank God for NYRA, and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.)

The reason for this lack of attention to the perceives needs of a bunch of spoiled media divas is that Chaplain Humberto Chavez and his team are entirely too busy saving lives, souls, hearts, emotions and families to deal with media inquiries, 24/7...

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M.E. Altieri

THE ALPHA MARE, commonly known as M.E. Altieri, is a writer/editor/activist who lives and breathes the art and sport of horse racing—both Arabian and Thoroughbred.
At the tender age of six months, her Grandmother plopped her on the back of a pony. (See photo.) Three years later, Mare first rode a horse—an American Quarter Horse—on her cousin's farm in Stephentown, New York. That same year her Mother and Grandma took her to Green Mountain Park, a now- (sadly) defunct Thoroughbred track in Pownal, Vermont. Next stop, Saratoga Race Course. The seed was planted, and a passion, born.
While she does have other interests (Medieval languages and theology, cats, tigers, etc.) none hold a candle to her passion for horses. She finds that horses are far-more intelligent, compassionate and kind than 99% of the people she meets. Mare's career is fascinating, if nothing else: in 2011, she served as Editor of a beautiful history book, The Purebred Arabian Horses of Iraq: Myths and Realities by Dr. Mohammad bin 'Abdul-'Aziz Al Nujaifi. She's contributed to several international horse racing publications, including Al Badia, Arabian Finish Line, Desert Mirage and Galopp Magasinet.
She's the Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of f!lly Magazine-- the magazine by, for and about women in horse racing. f!lly will debut in 2013. Both Thoroughbred and Arabian racing--and women, f!llies and mare from all around the world--will be featured in the full-color, beautiful, historic publication. Magazines are the first of the media M.E. wishes to tackle: she's also writing a screenplay, and seeks the perfect venue and producer for her horse racing radio show. She's got the voice; God knows, she has opinions--she feels led to put them together and broadcast to the 51% of the racing fan base that's too-often been overlooked. (Hint: 51%...could it be, women?)
An Alumna of Mount Holyoke College, Mare hopes to use these media, including her blog here at, to encourage women and girls to find their vocations in horse racing and to help make the world a more loving and nurturing place for all equines. When asked to identify her Mentor, the woman who encouraged her to follow her bliss, Mare names the great Penny Chenery. Through these various media projects, Mare hopes to do for other females what Ms. Chenery did for her--open doors, encourage and bless.


Thoroughbred Racing in Saratoga

The Thoroughbred is a distinct, created breed of horse. Saratoga Springs, New York is a unique, pristine city in Upstate New York.

Put the two together, Thoroughbreds and Saratoga, and you have America's most prestigious, lushly beautiful and important racing meet. For six weeks every summer, the world's best horses, jockeys and trainers come together to compete for trophies, cash and fame.

In this blog, we'll discover All Things Thoroughbred and the lovely international community of horsepeople, both professionals and fans, alike who set up camp in this city. Some come for six weeks, only. Others are here from April through November every year, when the Oklahoma's open. Yet others trek to town to race their mighty steeds—then fall in love with the place; buy a home and move here.

The Saratoga racing family of humans and horses is a year-round endeavour. You think that all the horses all go elsewhere after Labor Day? Then this blog is for you, too.

(Is the reference, "the Oklahoma" lost on you? Stay tuned, you'll feel like a pro in no time.)

Welcome to the only experience on Earth that can boast of such otherworldly beauty and heart-stopping thrills, all in the same breath: Thoroughbred racing in Saratoga.