Category Archives: Relevant

Hobbies are Fun

IMG_2973I thought I would share one of my hobbies with you guys, since it is related to my writing.

When I was 9 years old I started collecting model horses (specifically, Breyer brand) after a friend of mine showed me her rather large collection. I was instantly hooked and wanted them all.

Over the years my collection grew, at one point totaling just over 200 models. I grew out of playing with them to setting them up in scenes to photograph, among other hobby things that may seem weird to “outsiders” (like making blankets and halters, and going to shows where pieces of my collection were judged on collectibility and how well the model represented the breed I claimed it was – that stuff can get super competitive and I quickly gave it up because I lacked the great models others had).

Through my college years I drifted away from the hobby entirely, selling off almost my entire collection to buy textbooks and put gas in my car.

Lately, though, I feel drawn in again, but this time with an actual theme to what I want. I used to just want every model I could get. Now I’m going out and finding models that are made to look like real life famous horses (called portrait models).

And the even more specific theme? I’m going for models of famous horses related to my writing. All the models in the picture are portraits of famous show jumpers. This is the majority of the portrait jumpers Breyer has made over the years, I just have a few rare ones I’m hoping to grab someday.

So there we have it, my crazy hobby. Anyone want to share theirs?

Today in History

American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza. (photo from Liberty Unyielding via Google images)

I wanted to hold off on making a post until tonight for one reason: my topic was dependent on a horse race.

I like history and I like horses. The Triple Crown is very interesting to me. It’s the biggest test in American horse racing, and very few horses have won it in nearly 100 years. It’s also relevant to my writing because, in my Anderson Stables series, the star equine is an ex-racehorse, and there are several other off-track thoroughbreds throughout the series. That’s why I decided to talk about it a little bit.

I’ve never really followed horse racing exactly. Like many people, I’m sure, I only really tune in for the Triple Crown every year. The first race is the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. A couple weeks later is the Preakness Stakes, then the Belmont Stakes on the first Saturday in June.

It’s not easy for one horse to win all three races. They are different lengths, the longest being the Belmont at a mile and a half. And they are pretty close together. It’s easy for a horse to win the Derby then lose one – or both – of the next two races. Before today only 11 horses had won it: Sir Barton in 1919 (though it wasn’t really called the Triple Crown until the 30s), Gallant Fox in 1930, Omaha in 1935, War Admiral in 1937, Whirlaway in 1941, Count Fleet in 1943, Assault in 1946, Citation in 1948, Secretariat in 1973, Seattle Slew in 1977, and Affirmed in 1978.

And now, American Pharoah in 2015. (And yes, that is how you spell it.)

It was amazing to see history happen right in front of me. It’s the first Triple Crown win of my lifetime. That’s pretty incredible.

Even if no one else thinks so. I’m excited.

I need to write about it…

And if you want to watch it, the New York Racing Association put the video up on Youtube.