View Full Version : How many people that post in the Racing Forums....

Dec. 27, 2009, 02:47 AM
Well how many of you are honest to goodness racetrackers?As in your sole income is from the racetrack and what do you do? I'll start I am a trainer and a gallop girl. Anymore?

stellar hope
Dec. 27, 2009, 09:27 AM
I am an asst. trainer/gallop girl/van driver... :-) I'm like wal-mart...... one stop shopping hehehehe

Dec. 27, 2009, 11:05 AM
LOL Flypony, if my sole income had to come from the horses I race I wouldn't be able to afford to keep breeding. (Also I'd be kind of hungry. :lol: ) I'm lucky when they cover their own expenses much less mine.

Dec. 27, 2009, 11:11 AM
LOL Flypony, if my sole income had to come from the horses I race I wouldn't be able to afford to keep breeding. (Also I'd be kind of hungry. :lol: ) I'm lucky when they cover their own expenses much less mine.

Exactly. :) I have a small herd and when I am lucky, they (sort of) pay for themselves.

I on the other hand am on my own.

Dec. 27, 2009, 12:41 PM
Not me. Just a bettor, race fan, and owner of two OTTBs and counting.

Dec. 27, 2009, 12:50 PM
I was until they moved all racing too far from me to make it worth the effort. Training and then hauling for 4 hours one way then back just isnt worth the effort, and staying at the track is too expensive. Oh well, maybe they will open something closer at some point.

Dec. 27, 2009, 12:53 PM
Well I am an owner, trainer, breeder, stall cleaner, groom, van driver, etc so its safe to say that I am very involved in the industry directly. If I had to live off the money I make with them I could be sleeping in the aisle next to them however so take from that what you will.

Dec. 27, 2009, 01:08 PM
Lifelong fan of the horses. Watching racing on tv was the only access I had to horses when I was little.

Decades ago I had a brief stint walking hots / exercise riding on a private farm. That was my in.

These days I retrain horses coming off the track (more often than not without compensation), and actively support retirement efforts in various capacities.

I hope I'm qualified enough to continue posting here. ;)

Dec. 27, 2009, 01:11 PM
I am or at one time have been: owner, trainer, assistant trainer, exercise rider, pony girl, groom, outrider,sometimes all at the same time:D-- I still make money while working at the track, but it is no longer my sole source of income-- I got tired of eating Ramen Noodles!!!!!

Dec. 27, 2009, 01:12 PM
each month the bills get paid....... not sure how, but with a dose of faith, enough there to cover one bill after another.
Im a groom--- rent a farm where I take in lay-ups, consignments for retraining, and horses needing a bit of legging up/have 3 ponies I use there....and, I hustle *runs* at night.
My farm, an hour south, sits empty......just too far to travel; however, the postal service makes sure the mail/and its bills, follow me here ...
For a few years, I did day and night pony work ...but between the continual track closings, and trainers not paying, (and a few other specific PN issues).......the good trainers couldnt keep up and carry the slow/no pays.
For someone who wants to work, there is always a job somewhere on the backside.....

Dec. 27, 2009, 01:24 PM
Not me, I'm a volunteer on the backside every weekend. I don't think I would last, working as hard as the folks on the backside do.

Dec. 27, 2009, 01:28 PM
I finally acquired my trainer's license in November. Prior to that I was just a lowly gallop girl and AT. I only have a scant few horses in training as of yet, though, and still hold down a couple of freelance galloping jobs. I am heading to FL next week with a few racehorses going down w/me and will be galloping, breaking babies, and catch riding show horses. I am a racetracker in the sense that my sole income comes from the track. I try to avoid much of the racetracker persona though, which I *mostly* succeed at.

Dec. 27, 2009, 02:16 PM
Breeder, owner and married to a former trainer/driver who now handles stallions at one of the breeding farms here in FL. Hubby's familiy are trainers and work in the industry as do many of our friends. I do however have a day job to pay for our passion (the horses). Here is our latest homebred to win - have a couple more good ones out there this year... http://s74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Tommys%20Memory/?action=view&current=0012.jpg

Barbara L.
Dec. 27, 2009, 02:42 PM
Started as a hotwalker, then groom while in college in the late 70s, graduated went to KY and broke babies and galloped at Keeneland (made it through exactly one semester of graduate school, and ditched it for the track--don't really regret it.)

Worked in publicity at Monmouth and The Meadowlands for years, spent 12 years dong television for Mth, Gulfstream, Meadowlands and Philadelphia Park, trained horses for about 6 years, and now run the retirement program, do the website for the horsemen's organization, and their newsletter--all at Pha.

Have two exracehorses of my own, but little time to do anything with them--they are my favorite kind of retirees: retired at 10 or older and are still as classy now as they were back when they were three.

(P.S. I managed a breeding farm when I was in my 20s, did freelance stallion advertising and STILL love shipping horses and do it often!).

The most fun: was training; the most rewarding: running the rescue.

I am definitely a racetracker!

Blinkers On
Dec. 27, 2009, 03:48 PM
I have been a groom, hot walker, breeder owner, exercise rider, work rider, assistant trainer and trainer. I do nothing but race track. OH ya... clip, break babies, worked yealing sales, bloodstock agent... pretty much you name it I have done it.

Dec. 27, 2009, 04:04 PM
I'm too smart to be in the biz - my Dad had racehorses....! :)

ex-racer owner
Dec. 27, 2009, 04:13 PM
I don't work in the industry, but am a lifelong fan of the Thoroughbred. I do like to look at the threads in this forum that are about TB's in general or when the discussion of bloodlines comes up.

Dec. 27, 2009, 05:04 PM
I grew up in the industry (dad owned, bred - we stood 2 stallions, owned lotsa mares, and raced TBs and QHs), but my mom made sure I didn't do it for a living... unfortunately (or fortunately, who knows?)...

But I am now at the track working part time for the last 2 years as an assistant clocker (weekends) at Sam Houston during TB season (and Quarters only when I have too! ;))

An I am an avid watcher, reader, and have a lively virtual stable! :lol:

Dec. 27, 2009, 05:31 PM
I am a trainer, owner, ponygirl, groom and farm owner. I have 2 very nice owners with a few horses each and try to keep one or 2 horses for myself. I have built up a good pony business and train in the mornings and pony the races. During the winter I run off the farm (If I can get in at MTR and they don't cancel) and do layups. My income is solely from the track and my farm and I am proud to call myself a "racetracker".

Dec. 27, 2009, 06:49 PM
Owned a stakes level standardbred filly- now a broodmare. Had her two fillys and six other middling racers.. I sold off the herd when I retired......

On the Farm
Dec. 27, 2009, 07:15 PM
I've been in the industry for most of the last fourteen years, most of the time at a good breeding/training farm. Took a break to try something else, went back to the business as an assistant trainer at Finger Lakes and Penn, left there to address some financial issues back home, and am now back at the farm in the capacity of business manager. First time in years that I've had a Monday through Friday job.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 27, 2009, 07:26 PM
I post here from time to time but I'm admittedly just a fan :yes:

I have a couple OTTBs that I either picked up from the track or got while they were laid up and that's about as often as I go to any racetracks. (I make sure not to drive to closely to one while I have cash on hand :lol: )

I have a very close friend who is a total racetracker; gallops every morning, runs her own lay up farm, is expanding into depths of racing I don't even quite understand...

I'm more than happy to listen to her stories, feed carrots to the laid up racehorses, and take any of them home that look like they can jump!

She did take me to FH to learn to gallop but I need to be about 20lbs lighter and 100x braver if I ever wanted to do it for a living :lol:

Dec. 27, 2009, 07:47 PM
I work in racing but not on the backstretch. I produce racing related TV shows and get to read the Form for a living.

Jessi P
Dec. 27, 2009, 08:13 PM
I admit it - I am a racetracker. Been one for 20 years or so. If I wasn't the asst trainer I was helping my first hubby run the shed before taking over as trainer myself after my divorce.

I am a trainer with a small string of horses at Mountaineer. My other half and I are self employed, self sufficient and very lucky to have some good owners. In addition to my racehorses I usually have 2-3 young horses in training for other trainers, getting them ready to start their racing careers (schooling races, gate cards, tattoos, etc). In January and February I am taking some time OFF because our track will be closed for racing and I am not interested in shipping to race in Jan/Feb. My horses will get 45 -60 days off to freshen up, except for one who might run in the next week or two then get time off. Most importantly, I will enjoy sleeping IN for a change!! :winkgrin::yes::winkgrin:

Lady Counselor
Dec. 27, 2009, 09:33 PM
Went straight to the backside while still a teen. Worked my way up, walking hots, rubbing horses,then later ponying and exercise riding, as well as owner and trainer.
Worked for myself. Had a couple clients, but didn't like chasing people for bills (which seems to happen when you are a newbie trainer at the smaller tracks, you get the folks who do that)
Moved to the farm, was able to get a full time,benefitted job (nonhorse) as well as work the horses. Stopped in 2004 when it just became too hard to ship 2 hours each direction to run. Plus I was getting up at o-dark-thirty to gallop, cool off and do up the horses in training so I could be to work at 9. That makes for a long day.
Maybe one day I'll live closer again where I can have a runner or two for fun, and it won't be a total hassle to actually get them to the racetrack.

Alibhai's Alibar
Dec. 27, 2009, 09:44 PM
Not a racetracker per se, but I am living the dream working full-time for a racing publication.

Dec. 27, 2009, 10:29 PM
I mostly gallop (Mostly QHs and a few TBs), but have also have ass. trained and once in awhile will pony for one of the main barns I gallop for. I also sell horses coming straight off the track into new homes and also have an afternoon job on the side. (It makes up for the 'slow' season and if I get hurt on the track its another source of income). I also own my own racehorse and 3 OTTBs that I took and retrained to jump and show.

I love track life and couldn't think of any better way to spend an early morning then galloping! I LOVE MY JOB!

Dec. 27, 2009, 10:53 PM
The backside is compelling and it's an impulse that is almost impossible to resist. It really doesn't matter how I arrived here, other than to state that my compulsion to carry on can be linked to "the horses". I am, truly and completely, a backsider.

That said, with intent to pre-emptent chatter about the intellect/character, etc. of backsiders, there can be no accurate assessments of the people who give every ounce of their souls to the horses on the backside.

If it matters, I am also well ($$) educated. Nonetheless, my involvement with peers on the backside are rewarding and inspiring. We are equals there. For the most part, life as a backsider is all about long, early hours, hard work without thanks or appreciation, brief glimpses of reward, but scant monetary stipend. And, yet, the die-hards are still cheering for the winners from "the barn", even if the reward is for bragging rights, or a job well done. It's seldom about the money, and maybe that's a glimpse into our sickness!

Dec. 27, 2009, 11:42 PM
*raising hand* I'm one....sorta! lol
I worked at a hotwalker and groom starting at age 17. I did weekends and holidays while still in school and all summer. After going off to college I mostly dabbled in resales/retraining and advertising for trainers. Met my DH and got back into racing. FIL is trainer, DH asst trainer, MIL owner. We work off the farm together and do everything ourselves. I gallop, pony, muck, run horses at night (for a night off!) and we do our own lay-ups. This is our primary income.
I also enjoy retaining and resales still and volunteer for CANTER taking listings at MNR and the surrounding farms. I love my job and wouldn't trade it for anything!

Dec. 28, 2009, 12:35 AM
I started at age 10 filling water buckets for a QH trainer. I worked my up from shedrow raker/bucket filler to hot walker and mucker, to groom, to exercise rider/pony rider, to jockey,(for a couple years), to trainer and owner, then on to breeder, then back to groom.

DH galloped and started babies for many years. Had a trainers license, etc.

Now we have eventers and yes, most of them are OTTBs. We buy a few every year and get them going and send them off into the eventing world.

We no longer make all of our living at the track, but we are still closely connected.

Dec. 28, 2009, 08:42 AM
Grew up heavily involved in the racing industry. My stepdad trained at Delaware Park but travelled to all the mid-atlantic tracks to run horses. My mom ran the lay-up farm. We then managed a big farm that had it's own track and close to 50 horses. I worked at the track as a hotwalker and groom during the summer but most of the time worked at the farm with lay-ups, breaking babies and retraining. I didn't ever want to be involved in the actual racing industry as I found my calling with the retraining.

I now work as a volunteer with CANTER helping with the Delaware Park program and the retraining of many of the CANTER owned horses. I work full-time so I just fit the horses in every moment of spare time that I have. I love many aspects of the industry and the people that work in it. It is a very hard life and I respect those that keep the horses best interest at heart.

Dec. 28, 2009, 10:30 AM
Was first licensed in high school as a groom in 1976, working weekends at Sandown Racetrack in Victoria, BC. Was taught to pony there as well. When Sandown closed to TBs in 1979, had to get a real job, which sucked. Rode hunter/jumpers also until I went full time to the track in the early 1980's, at Hastings Park. Started out leadponying there, got my trainers license to train our two homebred two year olds. Did my own galloping, breaking, stall mucking and hot walking, always. My first filly won her first start, going short. Short, tubby little thing known as "Pork Chop", she was a FAST pork chop. For the first five or six years of training, first time winners as two year olds, often going short but not always, was a regular occurance. Then, I bought a yearling locally that kept on winning, long term, a good one. Provincial champion sprinter, and multiple stakes winner in western Canada, winning in BC, Alberta and Manitoba. He was lots of fun, and never a dull moment, a ticking time bomb, called "Sloshed". Quit ponying when I started training full time. But our farm at the time was an hour away from the track, and full time racetrackers did tend to live in an apartment or small house in town, otherwise a person spent just too much time on the highway, stuck in traffic etc. I had to decide if I was a full time racetracker, or a farmer. I decided I was a farmer, and no longer kept horses at the track, trained from the farm and shipped in to race. Had mild success with this plan, some horses run well from the farm, and some don't. Bred a few babies throughout the years, sold a few, kept a few, got them to the track if possible, if not, switched them over to showing, did some preliminary jumping training with them, maybe a few local schooling shows, and sold them on. Always played with the horseshowing end of things as well as the racing end, I find they compliment each other well. All race prospects and show prospects are broke the same, basic forward motion and basic dressage, then are honed into race competitiveness if they show the aptitude for it. Racehorses have a limited career at the track, they all will need to go somewhere when they are finished racing, and good basic training doesn't disappear, and makes them nicer to work with and easier to ride as racehorses. Bought and sold a few others that caught my eye over the years from other race trainers, as well as raising a few TB crosses as hunter/jumper types, just for fun and sometimes profit. Then got the stallion, and have made an effort to make a career for him, as a duel purpose producing stallion. His career is more as a hunter/jumper/event producing stallion these days, which is fine. 17 babies to the track, 11 winners of about $200,000 but not the superstar he needed to make the racing grade, just bad luck... there have been some talented ones in the bunch.

Then, we got tired of the rain, the crowds of people everywhere, the crap that one has to put up with running a boarding and training stable... people who don't pay their bills, either not on time or not at all, the expense of running the farm, sawdust for bedding and manure trucking away, the work involved (if you hire employees to clean the barn, there goes your profit), manual labour pushing a wheelbarrow full of wet horsepoop through the mud from 8 AM to 4 PM, 7 days a week. So we sold the farm in the Fraser Valley, and moved 4 hours north, with a new farm and a different point of view regarding the keeping of horses. I have not trained racehorses at all now in 2 1/2 years, but am taking up my previous interest in the hunter/jumper/event world again, to some extent. Am hoping to continue boarding and raising TBs for other owners in the TB industry, more broodmare and youngstock boarding and layups rather than training at this new farm. Construction at this farm is still not fully complete, but we are functional in this respect now, offering the same quality individual small barn care that we have been known for in the industry locally for the last 25 years.

Dec. 28, 2009, 11:15 AM
Just a fan. I go to the track once or twice a year but that's about it.

Dec. 28, 2009, 12:12 PM
The Dick Hertz progression

Fan / College / Groom / Marriage /Owner / Groom / Assistant / Owner

Because I do hold down a day job that requires me to have a contract (where i can't actively pursue a job that has another income), I can not become a program trainer. Otherwise, you could put Dick Hertz on your stable mail. I truly believe a good small stable works well when you have someone doing the hands on things while the other works on the headaches (larger stables already have the extra help in most cases) which includes but not limited to:

emailing owners
tracking coggins dates
spotting races in cond'tn book
ordering health certificates
tracking shots
letting the vet know of any work that needs done
finding homes upon retirement
running them at night
dealing with agents - to which I've learned to treat them like they treat you...on a race by race basis :)

Dec. 28, 2009, 12:31 PM
Haven't posted much in racing, usually h/j and hunting. I read a lot of the racung posts though.

We own a small lesson/show barn about an hour west of Chicago. I take/buy OTTB's that are done with their racing career and make them hunters and jumpers and pleasure horses. Always willing to help out any trainers that need to find a sane horse a good home. Am considering taking in some layups.

I administer Chicagoland Hunter Jumper Riders on Facebook. The horse in the picture on the site is Procitee Slew who we got from Hawthorne. He is on his way to making a big name for himself in hunters and is loved by everyone and has taught many adult beginners to ride.

Dec. 28, 2009, 12:47 PM
I'm a gallop girl from April till Oct or Nov, when the track closes up here. I can't afford to pack up the kid and the animals (nor would I want to) to follow the horses, so I also teach lessons, start babies, etc etc. I started as a groom, have been a pony rider, and now I'm also a breeder and owner. Probably insane to boot, but at least I'm having fun! Lol

Dec. 28, 2009, 08:05 PM
Well, Timex, you might be insane, but you're doing it in the right place! I'd give my eye teeth to get a BM or shedrow foreman job there!

Dec. 29, 2009, 11:01 PM
I started breaking babies at a TB farm here in Md in the late 70's, galloped on the track for a few years, rode races in the mid 80's, got married to a trainer and continued to just ride in the a.m. I spent about 25 years galloping horses, owned a few and trained a few too.

Recently "retired" and have a lovely farm and some broodmares and babies. Went back to the show horses a bit (which I did growing up) I do a little retraining and selling... my youngest children are now riding and starting to show, and I foxhunt as often as possible.

I wouldnt trade any of it for anything. I had a blast at the track, although I still wonder how I did those early freezing mornings. My new motto is, "If it's not fun and I'm not getting paid for it, I'm not doing it." :)

Dec. 30, 2009, 09:26 AM
Owner, wife of a many decades trainer. I usually have 4-6 and he has a few more going during racing season from a trainer friend in the states. It's pretty much just the two of us unless he has too many horses or is feeling pretty run down and then he might have a stable hand to muck or walk hots. He also gallops his own, always has. Weekends and holidays I muck, walk, feed, groom, run horses, and daily care for whatever is home on the farm. Afternoons I meet up with my husband at the track on the way home in work clothes to feed and check up on the kids. I take several of my "vacation" days and use them on race days or cut out from my day job early to run over to the track to run a horse or help out. Generally half our household income is the horses.

I'm the gal, with my arm around hubby.


Dec. 30, 2009, 06:27 PM
Hey Jennifer, your guy is no slouch! Hope all those earnings have been for you!

What's his temperament like? I've worked with one Mecke and he was a doll. And I love the small, family operations. My daughter and her fiance do the same thing at Penn. She gallops, tacks, does up, runs them to the paddock, etc. Whatever needs to be done.

Dec. 30, 2009, 08:56 PM
Thanks! Unfortunately no, not all for us but he gave us two nice wins this year and hopefully a few more to come. He can be aggravating and exhilarating all at the same time. He's a drop dead gorgeous horse and given to us intact but fortunately not a real studly boy. He can be very playful but race time he's all business and I can paddock him myself. I would love to have a young clone of him.

At home with his sheep:


Out in his paddock:


Dec. 30, 2009, 09:02 PM
Love those photos! And just noticed your signature line: takes a lot of anti-propaganda to get that point across, doesn't it??

Dec. 30, 2009, 09:12 PM
He is lovely! I have a Mecke mare here on the farm who I adore.

So far I've been involved in the racing industry from a rehoming retired racehorses standpoint... but I'm *hoping* to have one or two going to the track in the spring :)

Dec. 31, 2009, 06:29 AM
Owner, former breeder, horse racing author/writer, bloodline and history research, and a permanent child who adores and loves TBS (and all breeds) forever. Have worked sales, hot-walked, galloped, etc. My body is pretty broken down now but I hope to get back on a horse this year after seven years of just watching.

Hallie I. McEvoy
Racing Dreams, LLC

Dec. 31, 2009, 11:48 AM
I grew up around Saratoga & my sister worked as a hotwalker after I left for college. I have a OTTB, that is my baby. I wish I could get more involved with racing other than just watching on TV but living in Kansas, unless I drive to Oklahoma I'm outta luck :-(

Dec. 31, 2009, 04:24 PM
Exercise rider, but I wouldn't want to say that's my sole source of income. I'm more of a weekend warrior type. Been doing it about 5 or 6 years now.