Why I Fell In Love With Horse Racing
Hi, I am Shannel Cacho and I am new to the Horse Racing Radio Network Family. I just wanted to use my first blog post to introduce myself and tell you what made me fall not just in love with horses but with horse racing.
The story of how I fell in love with horses is a simple one, but somewhat cliché. One day when I was in Pre-K, my class took a field trip to my teacher’s farm. At her farm she had a horse and a pony that she had tacked up, and that she let any of us who wanted to ride them get on. I remember getting on the pony first, and then asking to get on the big horse next, and after that I just could not get enough. That was the moment that I got bitten by the bug, and the rest is history.
Growing up, I was always fascinated with anything that regarded horses, and I tried to learn as much about them as possible. I would read books on the different breeds and watch various equestrian sports. If it had to do with horses the chances were that I was trying to find out more about it. However when it came to racing, I didn’t just happen to stumble upon that, my dad introduced me to the beautiful world of horse racing. Every first Saturday in May for as long as I can remember my dad and I watched the Kentucky Derby together and still do. Now when I say, “watch” the Derby together that term is used loosely because my dad was in the Army, and he was deployed a lot. Don’t be fooled though, that didn’t stop us from watching the Derby together. However sometimes if he wasn’t able to talk during the race or immediately after he would call me the first chance that he got and we would discuss the race. Sharing this experience with my dad is something that I hold very near and dear to my heart. My dad and I have watched/talked about every Triple Crown race for as long as I can remember. We also talk during the Breeder’s Cup races, Dubai World Cup, and now the Pegasus, and occasionally any other major stakes race that we are both able to catch. To this day being able to physically watch a race with my dad is a rare treat, but no matter where we are I know that this is a bond that we share. At the end of each of these races, I wait for my phone to light up with my dad’s picture if I don’t call him first.
One year my dad changed the game on me and surprised me with Kentucky Derby tickets for Christmas, and to say that I was excited is quite an understatement. Immediately I was thinking about what dress I was going to wear, what kind of hat I would find, the jewelry, shoes, etc, and what my dad would be wearing so that he would match me. The day that our dreams became a reality was May 3, 2014, the day that California Chrome won the Derby. My dad and I were present for the Oaks as well, and we enjoyed and lived the entire Derby experience from “Dawn at the Downs’ to watch the contenders workout while we ate breakfast, to walking along the backside and checking out the infield. I was fortunate enough to be able to stand at the rail during the Derby because of the seats my dad got us, and the feeling that I got watching those horses thunder past me twice in the fastest two minutes in sports is a feeling that I cannot quite put words to. All I can say about that experience is that it was a beautiful experience that resonated throughout my whole body and gave me a memory with my dad that I will hold in my heart for ever. The next two years after going to the Derby that year, my dad and I made our “Triple Crown”, and it was incredible. We got to see American Pharoah run in his conquest of the Triple Crown when we attended the Preakness that year. Horseracing has brought me much joy in my life, and it is a common thread that my dad and I enthusiastically share. My dad is the reason that I fell in love with horse racing.