Each year the beginning of May is always an emotional time for me. Kentucky Derby weekend brings to mind memories and nostalgic thoughts of years past when I used to ride and show my horse. May was typically the beginning of the major show season for me and we would plan a trip to New York State to show in one of the largest circuits in the country (Horse Shows in The Sun also known as H.I.T.S.).
Although, I was quite ‘small-time’, my horse and I still felt proud to be riding in the same rings as the same major professionals who grace the Olympic show rings. Being in the presence of those you admire and aspire to be is quite amazing and it’s uncommon in many sports. Although horseback riding is not necessarily an attainable sport for the masses, there are those like my friends and I who work hard to reach the levels in which we can compete with some of the best. Unlike many of the girls in the shows I only had one horse and would only have the opportunity to partake in these week-long horse shows 1-2 times a summer. The rest of the season was spent at smaller weekend competitions.
My most memorable Kentucky Derby was when my entire stable gathered at the horse show bar to watch the race that Smarty Jones won by 2 ¾ lengths. My parents snuck me a drink, (a White Russian because the Mint Julep drink is much too strong for my taste). At that time I would not have never thought I’d sell my horse in less than two years to move to New York City. That was 8 years ago and my life of horses and the country is long behind me. I do hope to one day soon pick it up again but the sport is too expensive for me at this stage in my life. The first weekend in May however, will always bring to the surface the yearning to get myself back to the stable and on a horse. Once a horsewoman, always a horsewoman.