Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Blahs

Cried while reading the post over at Shayna's about her Grandmother. I think it hit me hard because of everything I have been through the last few weeks...

Stayed home today from work. Just don't feel well. I am not sure if it from all the commotion this weekend, or if I caught a bug.

Doug's word of the day (Jockey) motivated my post today.

Horses are in my blood. I am beyond obsessed. It consumes me. I am full of knowledge of all aspects of the horse industry, but horse racing is one of my biggest loves. I never understood why, until I found out my sperm donor(aka biological father) is a race horse horse trainer (still haven't met him). But besides that, I had a racing legend that I idolized.

A Hall of Fame jockey lives minutes away from where I grew up. I spent a lot of my childhood at their farm while my mom and his wife rehabbed wild animals. The wildlife was cool, but I would spend every second I could looking at all of the pictures on the wall and picking John's brain about horses. My all-time favorite pick was of John up on one of Joan Crawford's horse after a win at Hollywood Park.

Rotz in polkadot silks. He still looks this handsome.

Called "Gentleman John," John Rotz is known for being very gentle and kind when dealing with horses and people. He rode in over 20,000 races during his career as a jockey, winning over 2,900 races. Rotz never won the Kentucky Derby; however, he did beat THE legend - Triple Crown winner Secretariat. This is a big deal, because Secretariat won 16 of his 21 starts.

Go, baby, go! (Ta Wee and Rotz coming down the stretch to the wire).

The talented Ta Wee with Rotz in the irons.

In the Winner's Circle

Ta Wee was a wonderfully bred mare, with Man O'War on her paternal side and War Admiral on her maternal side. Ta Wee was a half sister to Rotz's favorite mount, Dr. Fager. Back in 1968, Dr. Fager could have beaten any horse by a mile. The only other horse racing freaks would say this about would be Man O'War. Dr. Fager was the only horse in history to be named Horse of the Year, champion sprinter, champion grass horse and champion older male, all in the same year.

Aboard Greek Money, Rotz won the Preakness in 1962. He considers this his career highlight, as this race was a battle to the wire for the lead against Manuel Ycaza aboard Ridan, one of the horses to beat that year.

Rotz was the nation's leading stakes rider in 1969 and 1970. He won the Belmont in 1970 with High Echelon, a Florida bred horse that was a grandson of one of my favorite TB legends, Native Dancer. I have watched this race in black and white on tape, and it was on a sloppy track. Rotz won that race with skill, stalking from the back of the pack, taking the lead after conserving his horse.

In 1973, Rotz was awarded the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Ten years later in 1983, Rotz was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Rotz and his cutting horse Buzzy give a demonstration for some school kids.

John Rotz still rides horses, but now he chases cows instead of other horses. Cutting horses are his new passion. His success with horses continues on, as he has several champion cutters. But I would expect nothing less out of Gentleman John.


Blogger Rude1 said...

I love stories like that. He sounds like a real down-to-earth overall nice guy. You're lucky to know such people, they enrich our lives. Thanks for sharing.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That is a great story. He's a hero. Tell him I tip my hat.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous shayna said...

Great story... and I didn't mean to make you cry! ;(

7:05 PM  
Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

What a fascinating man and what an honor to know him! How are you doing?

5:21 AM  
Blogger Rude1 said...

Thinking about you. I hope things are getting better.

Now that is a stupid thing for me to say. I mean, I hope you and your family are able to mourn and grieve. It will only get better with time.

Keep me posted; you and yours are in our thoughts and prayers.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Cowgirl said...

Rude1 - He is an awesome man. One of the nicest people I know.

Doug - He is one of my heroes. I'll tell him.

Shayna - That's ok. I tend to be in that mode lately.

Miz B - It is an honor. He knows SO much. I'm hanging in there.

Rude1 - Thanks so much for caring. I would never think of you as stupid, BTW.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Rude1 said...

awww, I know that :)

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never thought I would wind up on a cowgirl spot, being a Tbred girl, but John Rotz did it ... He was my hearthrob and idol---a witty and bright and very HOT man ... Knew him when he rode ... Glad to see his name and wonderful persona are not forgotten ... A special man ...

3:23 PM  

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