Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Farrier Hunks Have Lots of HEART

Last year a group of women concocted a scheme to raise funds for horse rescue groups. These ladies – the Swingin’ SaddleBabes – decided to publish a calendar featuring a dozen attractive men with overpowering raw sex appeal. Deciding that Chippendale Dancers were rather blasé and ho-hum, they scoured the Arizona countryside in search of a group of sensuous and seductive you-show-me-your-hooves-and-I’ll-show-you-mine enticing farriers.

The Hunks & Horses calendar, filled with pages of dreamy farriers, inspired me to create my own calendar, Hot Men of Lone Star. Sadly, my calendar endeavor never reached fruition as the vast number the sexy men frequenting the racetrack was so incredibly overwhelming that I found it impossible to select a mere dozen –

Oops! I just knocked over my glass of merlot. Be right back – need a quick refill …

Anyway, Sharon Miller of the Swingin’ SaddlesBabes recently alerted me that the 2010 Hunks & Horses calendar is now available for purchase with a percentage of the proceeds going to HEART of Tucson. Twelve months of hot horses and hot farriers as well as the return on Mr. September.

This information beckoned two very serious questions: (1) Since they managed to secure twelve local farriers for the calendar, is there a preponderance of farriers in the Santa Catalina Mountains versus other regions of the United States? And (2) Why is Mr. September’s shirt buttoned up, for cryin’ out loud?

Ms. Miller admitted that there are a large number of farriers locally since horses are a big part of southern Arizona. “We had a hard time getting farriers involved last year because it was a new project, and some of them thought we were probably wacked-out broads. “ However, the success of last year’s calendar made it easier to secure farrier hunks his year, many of the returning calendar guys being very eager to stay involved with the project. “We had a few [farriers] who contacted us and asked us if they could be in the calendar.”

And as for Mr. September, a.k.a. farrier Johnny Miller: “I didn’t even notice that we hadn’t told him to unbutton his shirt. Dang!”

All fun aside, a percentage of the calendar sales goes to HEART of Tucson, “an INCREDIBLE rescue group,” touts Sharon Miller. “They have been positively overwhelmed with horses in need. It has been constant, especially this summer. Sometimes they have been up all night with horses being brought in, or having to drive to Phoenix to pick up mares who have been pulled off the slaughter truck (by another rescue) and reunited with their babies.”

Judy Glore is the president of HEART of Tucson. Not only does she try to find homes and adopt the rescues out, she also runs a summer camp and the kids at the camp work with the rescue horses, “teaching the next generation to care for horses someone else didn’t care for.”

Additionally, HEART of Tucson started a Horse Food Bank that buys hay for horse owners that can’t afford to feed their horses yet don’t want to lose them. “It's a good way to take some of the pressure off of the rescues and help people keep their horses until they can recover economically. A number of local feed stores are cooperating in the program, but it still depends on donations,” said Ms. Miller.

The holidays are just around the corner so be sure to order your 2010 Hunks & Horses calendar today. Not only does it make for a nice stocking stuffer, it’s also for a good cause. And if you should find yourself in the vicinity of Boot Barn on November 27th, stop in and meet the farriers, SaddleBabes, and the HEART volunteers. No horseshoes required.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sea The Stars Retired ... and I Never Got Around to Friend Him

Regarding Sea The Stars, I recently wrote,
I don't want to miss out on greatness.

Oh well. I guess I did.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friend Sea The Stars

If not for my continual industrious efforts writing a horse racing blog reading the numerous well-written and insightful horse racing columns and blogs, I would know nothing of Sea The Stars.

Sea the Stars, an Irish-trained colt ... might just be the greatest [flat runner] of them all.

-Adam Smith, Time

SEA THE STARS put the seal on an incredible 2009 season ... that catapulted him into the pantheon of all-time great racehorses.

-Brian O’Connor, Irish Times

Sea The Stars has been hailed as one of the greatest racehorses

-Rocket News

Sea the Stars entered his name among the all-time greats

-Alan Shuback, Daily Racing Form

Sea the Stars continued his march to greatness

-Smart blogger and microbrewer, Superfecta

And wouldn’t it be great if Sea The Stars ran in the Breeders Cup? Wouldn't it be a tremendous opportunity to spotlight horse racing and grab the “casual fan”?

Well, during Sea The Stars march to intergalactic greatness, I never stumbled upon any news, articles, essays, letters to the editors, race replays, advertisements, email spam, text messages, cheers or jeers in mainstream media. No local fanfare. If Sea The Stars is the greatest racehorse since the invention of Equus caballus, shouldn’t he be a household name, like Tiger Woods?

If this notsocasual fan was so daft about that remarkable Thoroughbred who was catapulted into some kind of pantheon, how much does the "casual fan" know? I mean, would the “casual fan” even recognize Sea The Stars?

So once again, I'm required to put my scientific expertise to work.

I surveyed a sample of about a dozen individuals who might be considered “casual fan” – they’re aware of horse racing yet not highly informed about it, and they’ve heard of horses such as Seabiscuit, Secretariat, and Barbaro. A few have been to the racetrack. A small percentage of the sample affirmed that they watched the Kentucky Derby. However, all of the individuals in the sample follow sports regularly and think Manny Ramirez should get a haircut.

I asked if anyone had heard of Sea The Stars.

A couple of women thought it was some kind of fragrance or Bath and Body Works lotion. Another individual said it was the name of some cheap motel in South Padre. And another person claimed that it was astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s new children’s book, all the while providing unwarranted and unnecessary details about Buzz Aldrin's recent book signing in Fort Worth and how he thought it was really cool because he remembers watching the moon landings when he was a kid.

Anyway, nobody in the group even knew it was a horse. Please note that the sample results are somewhat skewed as the survey was conducted during a recent happy hour.

Perhaps a little social networking is in order? Sea The Stars only has 3,745 fans on Facebook. It time to friend him.

Meanwhile, I have a bunch of race replays to watch. I don't want to miss out on greatness.