Recently in Mare's Musings Category
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.
Two topics are banging away at the top of my brain today.
Both must be addressed if I'm to get any sleep tonight. (I have a laundry list of articles to write in the next two weeks--even as I work on f!lly Magazine; teach and tackle the myriad other projects on my desk. If I let these two topics sit there on the list with the other stuff, they'll lose effect because they're time-sensitive.)
So let's talk about them: rather than writing two articles, I'm going to write one piece and divide it into two parts.
At first blush, you're going to think that I'm just confused. Surely, these two things have nothing to do with each other. But trust me--stay with me--these two things are most definitely connected.
But if you think that I'm confused--you will be wrong. For the tragedies, the fierceness and the raw emotions that are evoked by these two topics indeed are related.
Read on, o horse-loving race fans, and soon you shall know what I know...
Happy Breeders' Cup Friday: November 1, 2013. I could write an entire book about how the BC has become bloated--about the fact that f!llies and mares--like women in horse racing--are tossed into the back seat. Again.
But that's another rant, for another day. (And believe me, I WILL rant about it at some point in the very-near future.)
But today's column is my effort to get you, the race fan--the betting public--the lover of horses, and of the sport of racing them--to watch a race that will split your hearts wide-open. A race on which you can BET your brains out. A race of beautiful, elegant, historic horses--the very foundation of the Thoroughbred breed.
Yes, today at Santa Anita, under the banner of the Breeders' Cup--Arabian horses will race in the President of the United Arab Emirates Cup Invitational, and you're invited...
It's no secret that I far prefer the company of horses to that of humans.
Horses won't lie to you. And surely, they won't rob you of anything but your heart.
And people wonder why I say,
The more humans I meet...the more I love horses.
Wonder no more...
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...
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.
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?
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.
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.
Please share this link, this article, the link to J&M Acres Horse Rescue's page about the boys: http://www.jmacresrescue.com/13/post/2013/08/four-arabians-in-wa-at-risk-for-slaughter.html
Share this information with everyone you know, everyone you can. Thank you so much. God bless you.
Last night I attended the NYRA Public Forum in Saratoga. The Forum was held at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, in the gorgeous Hall of Fame, itself. (A space that's easy to take for granted--sitting among the names of the greatest horses, jockeys and trainers in a comfy chair--it's easy to forget that you're in an actual shrine--THE shrine--to our sport.)
So. Race fans and locals to Saratoga, alike, have whined for years, that they want to ask questions of NYRA officials, and get answers. (If I hear one more person say that there should be a forum that's open to the public--I'll scream.) And yet, only approximately 60 people showed up, of 125 who could be accommodated. (I shudder to think that there may be more race fans who can't figure out how to do an RSVP, than know how to place a bet...?)
Moving on: NYRA hosted the Public Forum--and five of the highest-up-the-food-chain were there:
Christopher K. Kay, CEO and President
David O'Roure, Vice President of Corporate Development
Glen Kozak, Vice President of Facilities & Racing Surfaces
P.J. Campo, Vice President & Director of Racing and
Patric Mahony, Senior Vice President of Pari-Mutuel Operations
Ergo, every aspect of NYRA's operations was covered by the presence of these five people. No one with a question could gripe that,
"Well, the right guy wasn't there..."
Ahhhh, race fans...another big weekend at in horse racing is upon us. Not just A big weekend, THE Big Weekend. This weekend, for those of you who don't travel to Saratoga for the races--or have yet to experience the majesty--or who may be in a full bodycast:
This is the weekend that will see SIX--count 'em, six--stakes races with purses over $100,000.
The million-dollar Travers Stakes--which dates back to 1864--will be run on Saturday, August 24th. The purse, $1,000,000, indeed is a tasty prize: only the country's best three-year-old males are expected to race. Orb, Verrazano and Palace Malice will go up against each other, and those who dare face that wholly unholy trinity. ;)
I really, really, really need to point out here that the Travers is NOT restricted to males, only--it just happens that there are no females in the race this year. Can we ever just make a statement like that, regarding female race horses, and let it just sit as a single statement? Not go into a whole discussion about female horses vs. male horses? As the late, great Jess Jackson said, let's just take our best horses. Put them on the track, and let them run against each other...
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...