She Heroes

“Georganne and I have been professional peers for the past 30+ years, but not until I came to the Maryland Jockey Club was I able to appreciate what she does. The consummate professional with the respect of the Maryland horsemen, she is affectionately known as the Queen of Maryland Racing.  Georganne dedicates her life to Maryland racing and its participants. She has been an integral part of much of the success of Maryland racing. She loves what she does, from helping create the race programsRead More →

The name Donna Freyer is familiar in the racing industry for many reasons. The owner and operator of Custom Care Equine, a breaking and training facility in Camden, South Carolina, Freyer has blazed trails throughout her life. The New Jersey native graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire just a few years after its inception as a coeducational institution. She founded one of the first all-female ownership groups in racing, Fast Women LLC. The Donna Freyer Stakes for 2-year-old fillies who have spent at leastRead More →

SheHero is humbled to honor three truly remarkable women this week – Allison DeMajistre, Rebecca Kelly and Amy DuRoss Vega. Each began her career in Thoroughbred racing. All three now work in the medical field, tackling the sobering reality of the COVID-19 front lines every day. It’s a kinship only they can fully comprehend. A club with dues paid – in spades, these days – by tireless dedication, tenacity and immeasurable strength of character. Most couldn’t meet the membership requirements; wouldn’t want to, in fact.Read More →

“Declare Your Wish. He’s the first horse I think of when I think of Janet Elliot.  Sure, there were better ones, more accomplished ones, the champions, the stakes horses I rode for her (Flat Top, Victorian Hill, Campanile, Hodges Bay, Woodlast, Master McGrath, Talamero, Hokan…), the stakes winners I chased, the Grade 1 winners at Saratoga and everywhere else. But I think of Declare Your Wish. I think of riding Declare Your Wish in 1993, my first and only year working for Elliot. I gotRead More →

Through their very active social media outlets, Country Life and Merryland Farms have attracted thousands of appreciative fans – old and new – to Thoroughbred racing. Thanks largely to the tireless devotion of General Manager Christy Woodward Holden, followers are fascinated by live-streamed videos during foaling season.  And on Saturday, March 22, viewers were treated to an unexpected arrival when stakes winning broodmare Blisstikus gave birth to a gorgeous Mosler colt out in the field on a stunning Spring afternoon. Christy, Ellen Pons and AliceRead More →

“Founded in 1994, Work to Ride (WTR) is a 501 c3, non-profit community-based prevention program that aids disadvantaged urban youth through constructive activities centered on horsemanship, equine sports and education. The program is housed at Chamounix Stables, located in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. This setting provides a unique opportunity to bring urban youth in contact with animals and nature. Work to Ride is designed as a long-term program for 7 to 19 year-old youth who must commit to a minimum of one year of participation. ItRead More →

In July 1996, assistant trainer Robin Cleary was paralyzed from the neck down when a colt she was galloping for her husband, Brian Cleary, broke down. Despite cardiac and respiratory arrest, Robin survived, but a severe battle with depression ensued. In 1998, Robin learned of The Miami Project To Cure Paralysis. Located at The University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, the Project is considered the premier research program targeting spinal cord and brain injuries. With a renewed purpose, Robin refocused and began a crusadeRead More →

In 1994, former jockey and trainer Helen Meredith, a native of Scotland, founded one of the first fully accredited Thoroughbred rescues in the country – the United Pegasus Foundation in San Jacinto, California “She is an avid equestrian that was moved to start the foundation after seeing a news story about the feedlots in Southern California. Watching once prize winning race horses being discarded and sold by their owners inspired Helen to start saving these noble, beautiful equines in her half-acre back yard. This becameRead More →

(Editor’s Note:  This week’s SheHero comes at you from a slightly different direction. While in Middleburg, Va., this past weekend, Maggie Kimmitt stopped by for a cup of tea with Michael and Jo Motion. A casual question about an oil painting opened a treasure trove of stories about “a kinder time” and the extraordinary life of a woman who blazed the trail for future generations of women in Thoroughbred racing.) I’ve known Mrs. Jo Motion long enough and well enough to realize that any suggestionRead More →

“I heard about Bev Strauss’ work years before meeting her. I learned early on that she went to the New Holland sales weekly. She saved Thoroughbreds in the kill pen and would quietly network them back to original homes or to new homes. Many of those horses had ‘fallen through the cracks’ after their racing days were over. Bev provided them with soft landings and futures by sending them to her rescue, MidAtlantic Horse Rescue (MAHR), outside of Chesapeake City, Md.   When I met herRead More →