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An indie documentary about rescued— and repurposed— horses

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As you guys know, I am getting ready to graduate from college soon. The better part of my time and energy in this, my last semester of “real” class before internship time, is in my advanced documentary class where I am directing a 20-minute film about rescued and rehabbed horses called Roughshod.

Over the next few months, my crew of 3 and I will be traveling all over New England and New York talking to people who have played a part in defining the role of the horse in the 21st century. Why do we need horses? How are horses still significant in an age driven by technology? What is being done with at-risk horses who would otherwise end up bound for slaughter? We aim to avoid the typical “talking head” format as much as possible in favor of showing off the beauty and power of the equine and their tireless caretakers, all while telling their stories.

Currently, we have a lot of interest from a variety of different rescue centers and so far plan to film all types of breeds, from Thoroughbreds to Percherons to Mustangs. We’ll certainly be very busy between shooting and editing the project all spring long.

Please share this post with whomever, Like our Facebook to see all of our updates, and if you would like to donate (and perhaps receive a DVD and other nice things), visit our Indiegogo fundraiser page. Even a dollar goes a long way!

Jack’s R Wild, a Wild Desert gelding trained by Robbie Davis

Jack’s R Wild, a Wild Desert gelding trained by Robbie Davis

Tiz the Season - A Giveaway

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To be frank, I have disliked Christmas for many moons (I blame working in retail, American materialism, and being broke if not desolate for many of them), but the one Golden Ticket about the holidays for me is giving back to those who are less fortunate. I am always about giving back to worthwhile racing-related charities, so please consider these great organizations I’ve either worked with or contributed toward this year:

  • Transitions Thoroughbreds - Mindy Lovell is currently struggling to fundraise to feed her rescues for the long Canadian winter, and today I just stumbled across her story. I tossed a bit her way, but do help her out if you can; she’s on the frontlines of saving off-track Thoroughbreds from slaughter.
  • CANTER USA: If it was not for CANTER, many newly off-track Thoroughbreds would not be here with us today. They are ones largely responsible for Suffolk Downs’ fantastic no-tolerance policy on selling racehorses from that track for slaughter, and they work tirelessly to promote these horses to new homes.
  • Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue: Absolutely wonderful people who do great work retraining and rehoming racehorses, as well as serve as a forever home/museum for some of racing’s iconic athletes like Evening Attire and Stud Muffin.
  • New Vocations - They take in retired racehorses and retrain them before adopting them out to incredible forever homes as one of the country’s most remarkable and successful facilities. And hey, for the month of December, all adoption fees are 50% OFF!

In the spirit of the holidays, GHR will be giving away a beautiful Horses and Hope calendar (the purchase of which also benefits horses!) to those who reblog/like this post. I’ll stop all giveaway entries at midnight EST on Saturday December 7, U.S. only for now.

Much love for Little Mike

Much love for Little Mike

Dat reach

Dat reach

Little Mike

Little Mike

Easter Gift and Mike Smith in the Kelso Handicap (II) post parade (Photo by Dawna Wood/The Galloping Hat Rack)

Easter Gift and Mike Smith in the Kelso Handicap (II) post parade (Photo by Dawna Wood/The Galloping Hat Rack)

A thriller from start to finish, shipper Private Zone took ‘em all the way and survived a late charge from Justin Phillip, winning the Vosburgh Invitational (I) in a dramatic photo finish. (Photo by Dawna Wood/The Galloping Hat Rack)

A thriller from start to finish, shipper Private Zone took ‘em all the way and survived a late charge from Justin Phillip, winning the Vosburgh Invitational (I) in a dramatic photo finish. (Photo by Dawna Wood/The Galloping Hat Rack)

This photoset has more of a story than the others, and it’s probably one of my favorite Saratoga memories from this year’s visit. I was just getting the hang of shooting workouts at the Oklahoma training track and was trying to focus on some lead ponies coming in when I heard this erratic squeal to my left. Usually, that’s not good news when I hear it, oft the vocal sign of a horse who wants to get away. Then I look over, and this bratty chestnut horse was kicking and squealing while galloping down the lane, its exercise rider cracking up laughing. The horse was merely trying to break the hold its rider had, to let it go and run as it pleased. Such an adorable moment, I wish my photos had been a bit better and I knew who this pair was.

Edit: Chasinsunsets let me know this is Abel Flores with one of Steve Asmussen’s horses. Thanks, friend! :)

Going to the Thoroughbred races, keeping "track" of the memories. Obsessively providing a comprehensive and personal glance at the sport of kings through original photography, handicapping analysis, editorials, and much more.

Tracks visited: Calder, Saratoga, Belmont, Suffolk, Aqueduct.


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