Louisville Magazine

APR 2012

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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Your Best Bet for All Things Derby From large corporate functions to your own Derby party, we've got you covered. The Perfect Gift for all your Derby Guests To purchase extra copies call 625-0100 or e-mail circulation@loumag.com these kids is getting good horses. If you don't win, you don't get noticed." Says Bellocq: "Our job is to get them ready for their first day on the job. We want to be an equine industry workforce academy." (During year two, students complete internships for vari- ous farms and trainers.) Bellocq and McCar- ron discussed the potential for a school like this for years. "Took Chris retiring to make it happen," Bellocq says. Following a successful trip to the starting gate (loading, not breaking), the students ride, first in a paddock behind the barn, then on the smaller of the Toroughbred Center's two dirt tracks. McCarron posts the set lists, each kid's name next to a horse — Polo, Explicit, Sticky, Ease, Yankee. I'm too inexperienced to get on a Toroughbred. When asked what I'd need to do to become a jockey, Parisel, the Frenchman, says, "You'd have to change a lot. Cut the legs and go from there." McCarron's on Montana, and I offer to hot-walk the horse following the second set. I figure he'll at least let me stand next to them. T he 10-hour day includes one 15-or-so- minute lunch break. I speed to a gas station, the closest thing I can find, and inhale a sandwich. "Speedway's still in business because of us," Hayes says. She also informs me that a jockey by the name of Deshawn Parker is about my height and is tearing it up at Mountaineer Racetrack in north West Virginia. My problem would be my weight. Like the first line of the NARA application says: "Preference will be given to those applicants whose weight does not exceed 112 pounds wearing boots, riding britches, safety helmet…." After "lunch," I'm the last to arrive in Hayes' classroom on the ground floor of the former apartment, with the Equicizers stabled upstairs. Most students pack a lunch. Or don't eat. Sauder tells me that today he's consuming a single protein bar because yesterday — he'll do this once a month — he binged at a pizza buffet. "I went to town," he says. For him, lunch is typically a boring turkey sandwich and "maybe a tangerine." On his cellphone, an app called MyFitnessPal helps him hit his 1,200-calo- rie-a-day target. He looks forward to one big meal a week and does confess that, over Christmas break, he put on 20 pounds, which he shed by dieting and exercising. "I told myself if I get too big, I won't take pills or flip to lose weight. I'll just stop because it's not worth putting your body through that." Good. I won't need to force myself to vomit to get the full experience. Hayes pulls up a race at Florida's Gulf- stream Park on her computer, which we watch on a projection screen. She's interested in the No. 2 horse because she was working [80] LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.12 at the farm when the filly was born. Te mare died during childbirth, and Hayes bottle-fed the foal for the first 48 hours of its life. Te filly comes in second. "If she'd have won, I wouldn't make you take the quiz," Hayes jokes. Tere are 11 questions about horse pregnancy (What dates should a mare's preg- nancy be monitored via rectal palpation?), and I don't know one answer. Other highlights: 1. A horse named Moe bites my notebook. 2. At one point, McCarron is in a stall, scratching a horse's withers. Te horse, with its mouth, simultaneously returns the favor on McCarron's back. "Know what this is called?" he asks. "Symbiosis." 3. Each horse's temperature gets recorded twice a day. Lindsay hands me a thermome- ter that looks like it could be from my medi- cine cabinet. "Pat him on the back to let him know you're here," Lindsay says. Ten what? "Pull up the tail." Ten what? "And stick the thermometer in his butt-hole." Ninety-nine degrees. "Tat's a good temperature," Lind- say says. S o, anyway, back to Montana and me in the stall. We make it out (with McCarron's help). Te space between all of the stalls forms a figure eight and, atop Montana, I make two loops around half of the barn. It's stop-and-go, as if red traffic lights dot our path. Te first time around, McCarron holds the horse, constantly tell- ing me to keep my heels down, not to pull back on the reins. I'm solo the next lap, which could barely be described as walk- ing. It takes probably 10 times as long as it should, Montana rarely responding when I squeeze my legs or make a clicking sound with my tongue, which I've been told to do. "Tat's the first step, riding around the barn," McCarron says when I dismount. Could I be a jockey one day? "I'd sit you down and tell you, 'Look, it's probably not gonna work out, you being a jockey,'" McCarron says. "But then I'd encourage you to go the route of a horseman." In the fall, this group was about twice its current size, and whenever some- body quits, this is what the three instructors say: It just wasn't in the cards. At the end of the day, McCarron scores each student's performance. Te rest get 4s and 5s. Montana and me? "One-and-a-half," McCarron says. "Doesn't everybody get a five on Montana?" asks 18-year-old Haley Hester. Ten McCarron invites all of us into his office so the class can see something on his computer. It's a YouTube video of a three-year- old, a little girl, riding a horse. Reach managing editor Josh Moss at jmoss@ loumag.com.

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