She Heroes

By Marcus Armytage – The Telegraph Nickel Coin may have earned her place in racing history 70 years ago as the 13th and last mare to win the Grand National, but less well known is the fact that she was the first National winner to be led up by a stable lass rather than lad. In racing circles these days, Jo Wells, the then 19-year-old who looked after the nine-year-old bay mare, is better known as the mother of Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Graham Motion. DespiteRead More →

“I have known Sandy Hatfield since her days at North Ridge, then at Overbrook Farm, then at Gainsborough Farm, and finally when she came to manage the stallion division at Three Chimneys Farm. First and foremost, Sandy is a wonderful person. She is warm and giving and a wonderful friend who has earned the respect and admiration of everyone who has ever known her. She is especially loved by those of us who have worked with her and by those who have worked for herRead More →

“After decades of riding all over the world  for the U. S. Team, winning a medal,  instructing and coaching at all levels, I will admit to being nervous and possibly intimidated the first day Rosie came to my place for a lesson! What I’ve learned in the last five years is how fortunate I am  to work with someone with such God-given talent and yet who is so grounded and humble. Rosie has never hesitated to give back to the horses she loves and areRead More →

“I have known Stephanie Brennan for 30 years. We galloped together at Keeneland and even back then she was ‘saving the world.’ The puppy she adopted, called Bernie, was a throwaway. A difficult horse she galloped, called Big Bet, was rehomed. He ended up becoming a Three Day Event horse. She is the woman behind the man at Niall Brennan Stable, always with a foot on the pedal, but never seeking the limelight. Her dogs and horses are her go to people. She even hadRead More →

“Jill Byrne and I have known each other for many years, through many different roles and in each of them, Jill has excelled.  I first got to know Jill when her primary role was as exercise rider and integral part of the Pat Byrne racing team through several championship campaigners. Not long after, she traded boots and a helmet for a mic and camera, and we worked together at TVG, first in Kentucky on ‘The Works’ shows and later, on major races and events acrossRead More →

“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 →