Just a quick post to share what a joy it is to get to be back at Keeneland during a meet, first of all; and also to say how wonderful it is to get to work for Coady Photography again while the meet is underway. I worked for Coady briefly in April, but this time I am able to take a hiatus from my regular jobs to work there exclusively during October. I can’t express how much that means to me. Let’s just say I feel extreme gratitude, after running around through jobs that aren’t my calling, to get to do this for a time. I’ve read once that our landlords and our other bill collectors don’t care if we’re fulfilled at work, as if that is not essential to find happiness in what we do and pursue our dreams. If our dreams are not realistic, well, I guess that’s a valid point. But when I compare working just to make a living, as much as I of course have to do that, and I compare working for Coady…. Well, it just makes me realize even more how valuable it is to follow what your soul longs to do. Going to Keeneland every day they race makes my spirit soar. Being at the track is all I want, and it is kind of funny that a few days ago when I went home from working the full card I immediately wanted to go back.
Racing is just in my blood, and there’s something about standing on the track in between the dirt and turf courses when the horses thunder by. I get a jolt of adrenaline like I’ve rarely felt.
Knowing all of this – the adrenaline, the joy, the longing to be there even after just a short absence – it really makes me think, how backwards it all is that for so many people all they know of work is a drain to the spirit, something to endure and recover from, when it can be like this. It is what I’ve been striving for, to have this type of work that doesn’t seem like work, ever since I moved to Kentucky. And I’m going to keep pushing to get through this Equine Management degree and make it a permanent reality. Until then, I’m going to savor every last minute they race this month.
There’s one other thing that I was delighted to see, after working to try to get the hang of the technical aspects of the Coady cameras, since I haven’t had much opportunity to use cameras like those before. While I still have a learning curve ahead, I was pleased to have a photo I took, of Crown Queen winning the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on October 11th, find its way into a featured spot on Keeneland’s Facebook page, and also onto America’s Best Racing’s website story about the race. It’s the first time I’ve had one of my photos I took for Coady (or any photo I ever took for that matter) get picked up for media distribution. But best of all, is that Kurtis Coady praised it as well. He took a chance on me last spring when I came through the door of his office on the recommendation of a friend who works for him, and I want to make that pay off for him as well as me, professionally. I think I’m on my way.
Here is the photo as Keeneland featured it on their Facebook page:
and here is the link to America’s Best Racing’s story with the photo:
Okay, I’m done tooting my own horn now. I will post a summary of the Keeneland meet to date so far and my experience there when time allows, or when the meet is over, whichever I have time for first.
It was a beautifully glorious day at Keeneland, warmer than I had anticipated, and the listed Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes went off on the turf with a full field. I was sent to the roof again, as with the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, to be able to separate what had the potential to be a close finish with such a full field. It turned out exactly that way, with a five-horse rush near the wire, all spread across the track. White Rose was moving on the outside with what seemed to be the most momentum and she held her advantage at the wire, and sure enough, with such a rush of horses the only one on the roof (me) was the only one to get the photo of her clearly ahead at the wire. This is not to brag – it’s just been so great to see something I do and love to do get recognition, not just in the racing world, but by Kurtis Coady as well, and probably foremost. I aim to tie my fortunes to his company, sporadically while in school, and hopefully permanently upon graduation. So to have improved, while I still have a lot to learn, and for him to see how much it means to me to achieve the goals he sets for me and the goals I have for myself, means a lot.
Keeneland featured the photo on their website, and Facebook page, and I saw it on the Blood Horse website as well.