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The Life of a Future 5'8 Horse Jockey & Other Adventures
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: horse jockey

After spending my weekend with my horses, I finally have some time to sit down and type out another blog entry. (At last!) Yesterday I rode Adam through the trail in the pasture woods. We worked on stepping over obstacles such as stacked branches and poles first, then popped over small jumps after that. I couldn't believe how well we worked! Eventually I hope to train him to jump through the trail at a gallop just like a steeplechase. :) 

When not riding I continue to exercise -running and some weight lifting. Currently my weight sits just right (approx. 107.5-109) and is expected to decline to 105.5 once track season starts in the spring. Then I will have a better opportunity to work out and performance in track meets will motivate me even more. In addition I am trying to eat more greens in my diet starting with lettuce. I feel this is difficult for me because while growing up I never liked to eat fruits or vegetables (except for corn and potatoes). Fortunately I can tolerate apples and lettuce, so at least I have a starting point. If anyone has any tips on this I would appreciate them! 


Another day closer to being a jockey-Oct. 3, 2011
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: experiences passion horse racing jockey work out love Michaela Heair horse life run

      Hey Y'all! Wow, it feels so long since I have written a blog, maybe it's because it has been a while! lol :) How has everyone been doing? I hope y'all have been doing great, I know I have been. Once again, focusing on this high school. I'm supposed to be getting some of my last work in the mail, in the next couple of days. I've been thinking I'm going to take a couple days off of school, so I can catch up on all the horse racing I've been missing. The only recent news I have heard of lately has been that Cape Blanco retired with an injury, and that Goldikova pulled up short in a race. I'm sure there is much more to know than that, though! As you all can tell, I have a lot of catching up to do. Believe it, I feel like I'm in a world where only school work exists lol. I'll stay up tonight and hit up Thoroughbred Times, and get to reading and watching replays of races :) Gotta do it while I have a chance, you know? Ohhh Yeah, guess what!! Wait for it.....wait for it......Tomorrow at 9 a.m I'm going to start volunteering at the animal shelter here in town. They are being over run with animals now, so they need all the help they can get. Anything to help people and especially animals.

     I haven't been able to do too much this week, besides work out and minor other things. Last night, Allen and I went out and ate, so that was nice to not have to be staring at a text book for hours. :) Ofcourse, I'm still doing zumba, bootcamp, and kickboxing. Actually tonight, in about 4 hours, I have zumba and kickboxing in a row. I have noticed that kickboxing has made my reflexes a lot better when people are just joking around and poking me or something. They can barely get their hands past mine, lol :) I'm sure good reflexes will help with being a jockey. I actually had a dream about NARA just the other night. I have to say it was one of the best dreams a future jock could have! Hopefully NARA is just as good as this dream was, bet it will be :) Also, I've lost about another 5 pounds, slowly but surely getting there! I weight about 110 now. Which, I've also gained like 2 pounds in muscle weight to keep it balanced out, gotta have the strength too, but I'm being very cautious about lifting weights and everything, can't let muscle weight ruin my chances. I don't see anything ruining it though, I stay on top of everything very well. For example, I'm eating a bowl of butter beans right now for a quick snack and some water :p

      Well, that is just about it for this past week, like I said, not much has been going on. Just the same old stuff, working out, school work, baby sitting, more working out, and more MORE school work lol :) You all have a nice week, and if anyone wants to share anything don't be afraid to comment!


--Michaela Ann Heair

Another day closer to being a jockey-Sept. 20, 2011
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: experiences passion horse racing jockey work out love Michaela Heair horse life run

    Ahhh! Sorry there have been no recent blogs in the last week! I have been so busy with school work, and staying caught up with everything in horse racing, it is unreal. Not to mention, there is still loads more that has to be done in a short amount of time. All will go well, though :)

    Ofcourse, I have been spending all my free time at the gym, as always! A few minutes ago, I got back from zumba and bootcamp. Last night was kickboxing, I can see how it is helping keep the strength in my legs. Trust me, there are bruises and sore spots everywhere! No pain No gain :) The good thing is, the after work out meal! As of right now, I am eating some savory chicken and veggie soup. It can't get any better than that. I stepped on the scale tonight, it said exactly 115 on the dot, so for right now that is fine. As long as I keep it ranging within 2 pounds of that. In the next few months, I will start dropping more weight to get about 108-105, NARA wouldn't have a problem in the world with that.

    This last week has consisted of me being at the gym, baby sitting, doing schoolwork, and I started training the horse for my friend. So every day I have been working with the filly, she is doing really well. The first time I rode her, she bolted with the reins from my hands, and galloped down the highway. That was no fun, plus, she nearly took a plummet down the shoulder of the road, that could have very well put her and me in severe condition. Luckily, we got her under control, and she is calming down under the saddle now. A couple of months should be good for her, she is a rather gentle horse, just requires an experienced rider. I rode her again the day before yesterday, and she done great, but it is not nearly over yet. She is still fighting the bit, so that will change, and she is a pain tacking up. Daisy is getting more used to the saddle every day that passes. Next week, I will focus more on getting her acquainted to the pressure of the bit, which will be the tricky part. I will keep everyone posted on her progress though!

    Now, lets talk school, I just started my second quarter ALREADY! Within a month of school :) Now bragging at all, but I am proud of myself, these goals are going to happen, and everything is falling into place right now. I just cannot wait for college, but don't want to rush life either, I'm just anxious to smell the fresh dirt on the track :)) I have made all A's and 1 B so far on the tests, the averages should come out all A's. Then, when award's ceremony comes, I should get most paces completed, and hopefully highest average. We will see how the school year turns out though, when November gets here I will be in 11th grade :) Things are going great!

    Well, I'm going to get some rest, then go check on the horse! Y'all have a great night, comment if you want to say anything, do not be shy :)

Another day closer to being a jockey-Sept. 13, 2011
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: experiences passion horse racing jockey work out love Michaela Heair horse life run

    First of all, boy am I sore! Mainly the arms and abs are tender this morning. It is 7:46 am here, I've been up since about 6 am, it doesn't hurt to get a little rest here and there lol :) Yesterday was all in all a GREAT day! I spent the evening at the gym, we had zumba, then I tried this new kickboxing class the gym just added. Atleast, it will help keep my muscles toned and in good shape, without exactly adding muscle weight. It was fun though, we were punching or kicking the whole class. I learned some new things,the knee kick and front kick. Who may come in handy some day lol! It will keep my legs strong for riding the thoroughbreds around the track, anything that will help I will do.

    Kickboxing is enjoyable though, ok so ENOUGH about kickboxing, how about horse racing this past weekend?? There were some good races, I particularly liked the Arlington-Washington Futurity won by Shared Property at the end. Take Charge Indy ran a good home stretch, but Shared Property had a lil bit of speed to spare at the wire. Both good horses, can't wait to see what there next move will be. The Breeders' Cup is getting closer! It will be a close call this year, there are some of the best horses in a while running. Hopefully we see Havre De Grace go to post in the Classic to take on the colts. Colt wise, Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo are a couple contenders for the Classic, they will make a good run. Everyone knows Uncle Mo still has it all on the track, his heart has not let up one bit, which he proved in the Bishop. Don't mark out Ruler On Ice though! The Classic this year should be very interesting, in my opinion from the contenders it will be hard to choose a straight favorite. We will find out in time though! Also, some trainers that can kick some butt, too. Todd Pletcher, Charles Dickey, Bob Baffert, Donald Warren, Kelly Breen, all I can say is let the best one win, that's pretty much all you can say. The horses will prove it all on the track.

        Today shouldn't be a bad day, on the agenda for today is: babysit until 11:45 am, schoolwork, go get the horses back in our pasture at some point today, zumba and bootcamp at the gym tonight, stay a little later and work on some cardio, otherwise anything else that is thrown my way! Sounds like a good plan, huh? :)

Another day closer to being a jockey-Sept. 9, 2011
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: experiences passion horse racing jockey work out love Michaela Heair horse life run

      Woooo, so all in all, the past couple of days has been kicking my butt! I'm finishing up my first quarter of sophomore year, will be halfway done by October 15! Come on, Michaela, you have exactly one year of school left, you CAN DO IT! I've been trying to get a little more rest than usual, this week has been hectic and busy. I have been to the gym every night this week, except tonight. I was actually taking a break from all this schoolwork to write this blog, and get all of y'all updated!

      I'm so excited, because when I graduate, I'm heading to Laurel Park to meet with a couple people and get some experience before applying for NARA. Hopefully, all will turn out right!That will really help a lot, and get my foot in with the right people, but as far as now I will just keep in touch with them and focus on staying in shape and getting this school done. High school diploma comes first, a long with doing my every day training! It isn't as hard as what I thought, because I love doing it so much, but I can't wait to get on the track routine every morning.

      Tomorrow I am taking a rest from school and going to spend the day with Mom (whom I haven't seen in about a month now), that will be great to see one of the top supporters on the list! There isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't call and see how her future jockey is doing. I think it is really just now hitting her about how dangerous the sport is, she is being just like any caring mom and asking about the basics of safety. Gotta love her for it though :) Dad is currently in the hospital (back surgery and dimensia) so he can't talk every day, but when he can it sure is a highlight of the day. He is the only other horse person in my direct family, so he is tons of support and help and advice. He has helped so much with my training and weight management, it is unreal! It's going to be hard to be at the track without him, but his love and advice will be on the back of the thoroughbred with me, past every marker pole.

     So I got to thinking, wasn't Tyler Kaplan the youngest student at NARA? He was 15 or 16 right?? If that's the case, then I will be the 2nd youngest student, if no one else gets there at 16 before me! :)) I have gained some muscle weight, so am currently 117, so that can't stay that way. I will come back down to about 110, especially before applying. There is still some time to get that off, can't be too strict right now. I am just focusing more on cardio and keeping my legs strong and in tip top shape. In just a couple months, I will get more in depth about shedding more fat off (there isn't much but enough to get rid of lol ) Well, I hear my que to come help with something! Y'all all have a fantastic weekend, make the best of it!


--Michaela Ann Heair

Another day closer to being a jockey-Sept. 4, 2011
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: experiences passion horse racing jockey work out love Michaela Heair horse life run. gym. outside

    My time is getting nearer and nearer by every second that passes. The chance to feel the dirt in my face, the horse power between my legs, and tremendous speed by the touch of a whip. Every day is a constant battle against getting to where I want to get. Being a jockey is one of the hardest obstacles to jump over, but a life long reward when earned. This is what I am chasing for, and it is happening.

   Week days I wake up at 3 a.m to do school work, then to be done by 6 a.m to go on a mile run. After the early morning workout, I come back home to eat breakfast (usually eggs, or some other protein filled food).

   After breakfast, I catch the races on TV, stay tuned in to hear any new breaking news in the racing industry. Every day is a learning experience on what I can do different and better, to prepare myself for this carreer. There is nothing I'd rather be spending my day doing. I continue doing schoolwork through out the day, then later on my job baby sitting. 5 hours a day I spend earning money to put back for NARA.

   By the time lunch comes, it is time to grab something light and healthy to eat, then take a nap. Usually, it is around an hour nap, just to wake and start things again.

  Throughout the day, I keep in touch with jockey agents, people in the industry that are willing to help me when the time comes. They all see promise in me, and give the best support that anyone could ask for!

   When the evening rolls around, it is time to hit up the gym. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I attend a zumba class (1 hour long work out). Following the zumba class on Thursday is another hour class that focuses on strength in legs, arms, and abs. Out of the week, I usually take Fridays and Saturdays off from the gym, give my body a well deserved rest. 

   After the gym, I return home to ride the horses, then start more school work. The days are getting more hectic, as I am working harder and harder to become a jockey, it will become a reality because things are all falling into place now. All I need is patience to wait for God to tell me when the time is right, he will handle everything, as long as I keep my focus and heart for the well respected SPORT OF KINGS.

   Now that everyone knows my agenda for the day, y'all can join me on my journey to become a jockey, by tuning into my blog entries that are soon coming!

 Keep riding fast and safe! Everyone that has dreams of being a jockey, please don't give up. It is the best thing out there to do, I'm not even a jockey yet, and people recognize me for what I am working for. Don't take advantage of it though, treat the game right and it will treat you right. 

--Michaela Ann Heair

Accalmation Proclamation:
Category: Member Blogs


Winning one for the home team is what this year’s edition of the Pacific Classic was about.California-bred Acclamation pulled off a stunning victory for his California based owners. This race earned a spot high on my list of favorites for the year for many reasons:Acclamation setting a track record; one of my personal favorite horses, Twirling Candy, and his great effort placing a head behind the winner; Stately Victor, my longshot pick, had a strong third place finish, and to top it off Patrick Valenzuela’s repeat victory spanning twenty years.Fast horses, fast track, fast people…loved it, loved it, loved it!
Acclamation, a five year old son of Unusual Heat, is raced in the colors of Bud and Judy Johnston, as well as Peter and Mary Hilvers.I applaud the Johnston’s for breeding this versatile horse that made the Pacific Classic his fourth straight win, and his third straight Grade I victory.Don Warren trains Acclamation, in addition to the other Johnston horses.The Johnston runners have been trained by Warren for thirty-three years.
Warren opted to put Patrick Valenzuela in the irons of his turf phenom when regular rider, Joel Rosario, jumped off to ride Twirling Candy, who was the 5-2 morning line and post-time favorite for the Pacific Classic.Knowing Acclamation ran at his best when he set the pace, Warren wisely matched his horse with Valenzuela, who is known for his ability to win with pacesetters. Valenzuela gave a textbook ride aboard Acclamation at 4-1 odds, slowing the pace down to dawdling fractions of :24.57 for the opening quarter mile, and :48.65 for the half mile. 



The Juvenile Chronicles: Union Rags Marches On Saratoga
Category: Member Blogs




“I can’t wait to see this horse run in the Kentucky Derby!” I said as a gut reaction to watching Union Rags run in the Saratoga Special. Looking that far ahead is completely unrealistic; however I couldn’t help myself trying to imagine this horse progressing soundly into his three year old career. 


A Girl and Her Horses
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: OTTB

One horse I met that day made my turnaround back to horses complete. His name 
was Rocket, and he was an angelic gray color. Rocket seemed to know just what I 
needed, and he showed me that sweet tender trusting love that only comes from a 
horse. It only took a few moments with him for me to remember exactly why I love 
these animals so much. I had forgotten the reasons; my love for them was still there,
but I hadn’t been able to remember precisely why. Rocket brought it all back for me. 

After meeting all the horses, I was asked if I would like to ride Rocket. Of course, 
I said yes. He stood so still and was so agreeable to every request as I groomed 
him; I could just feel his huge gentle heart waiting to be loved and to love back. I 
remember saddling him up, checking his face to gauge his emotion. He looked back 
at me with huge wet brown eyes with a look as plain as day that asked "Do I belong to you now?” My heart melted. This communication was so shockingly clear, and it wasn’t the only time I would feel that pondering question from him. 

Our ride that day was wonderful, but that doesn’t stand out to me nearly as much 
as the connection Rocket and I made while on the ground. It was like magic. Rocket 
needed a person to love him, to dote on him, to need him. I needed a horse to love 
me, to trust me, to need me. We fit perfectly. 

Rocket and I spent many happy hours together, bonding and growing in trust. 
Unfortunately, finances kept me from purchasing Rocket as my own, though I 
desperately wanted to. Instead, Rocket found a wonderful home with a girl who I 
was told resembled me in many ways. This eased the pain of Rocket leaving a little, 
though I certainly cried that special kind of bittersweet tears that horses tend to inspire. 

Rocket brought me back to a love that had been dormant for a little while. I am so 
grateful to him, and hope that he is getting the love and attention he craves and 
deserves every single day.

Read more horse stories at!

Cape Blanco:
Category: Member Blogs
Arlington Park’s 2011 edition of their International Festival of Racing concluded on the day of the world-renowned Arlington Million, has been won by racing’s greatest Turf Monsters.Titled “Against All Odds”, the statue of John Henry nosing out The Bart to win the inaugural Arlington Million looms over the paddock of the Chicago racetrack.Keeping in mind the race’s rich past, I look forward to watching exhilarating races in the future.Cape Blanco is the latest horse to be added to the exclusive list of the Arlington Million’s victors.


The Arlington Million Day, always spicy with international flavor, was dominated by Aiden O’Brien’s European invaders.Treasure Beach began trainer O’Brien’s Arlington Million Day reign by winning the Secretariat Stakes, and passed on the torch to French mare, Stacelita, who won the Grade I Beverly D. immediately before the Arlington Million.O’Brien’s successful race day was concluded with Cape Blanco’s strong victory in the feature race. 




And He Did It Tizway!
Category: Member Blogs
“Marylou, Marylou, come and meet our Marylou.”


That is the song you will most likely hear upon visiting Saratoga Springs, especially during racing season.A petite woman, who promised her late husband, C.V. Whitney, that she would restore Saratoga to its hay day, is fulfilling that promise.Marylou Whitney has affected peoples’ lives with her many philanthropic gestures towards cancer for women, and land preservation.Her compassion also reaches for Thoroughbred racehorses; opening the Kentucky Equine Humane Center and being a strong supporter of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Marylou received the Ogden Phipps Award as Top Breeder for Birdstone and Bird Town and the magnanimous Eclipse Award of Merit last year. My parents have always told me that money, whether it be lack of or great amounts, will reveal the true nature of a person. Marylou Whitney is not only a person of grace and beauty, but of a generous, kind heart. 




Phelps to Carry 10 Pounds in Olympics - NOT!
Category: Member Blogs
Man O’ War, known by his followers as Big Red, was undisputedly the first racehorse to captivate the nation. Though Big Red was defeated only once, the flaming chestnut maintained a figure of perfection to his last breath. As his fan base grew, so did the advantage his competitors had on him. In one race, horseracing’s first celebrity gave up thirty-two pounds to his opponents, and still showed them his heels. However, Man O’ War, never had the opportunity to run as a four year old and his record as an older horse will forever remain absent from the history books.
Why did this happen? Big Red’s owner, Samuel D. Riddle, sent his trainer, Lou Feustel, to ask Walter Vosburgh, a New York Racing Secretary, what weights he would assign his horse if he was to campaign the colt as a four year old. Without hesitation, Vosburgh informed Feustel, “Lou, I can’t tell you exactly what weight I’d put on him next year, but I’ll say this much – I wouldn’t start him in his first out at a pound less than 140.”* Upon hearing the news, Riddle said, “Retire him, he’ll never run again.”* Without hesitation, he chose to retire his legend that, in 1999, The Bloodhorse magazine would hail as “The Best Racehorse of the 20th Century”.
Our imagination is the place Man O’ War’s ‘unraced’ years can live; we can only dare to dream what he would have etched into horseracing’s history. I ask again, “Why did this happen?”
Answer: Handicaps


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