Sunday, August 19, 2012

PTG's One Year Anniversary!

On August 19, 2011, I published my very first blog post on Past the Grandstand. It was the beginning of my blog, which is now home to more than 200 posts! I never imagined it would grow so large so quickly. This all stemmed from my love for the horse, the beautiful animal I have been around all my life.

In May of 2004, I watched as the gusty, lovable Smarty Jones galloped through the mud en route to a victory in the Kentucky Derby. Ever since, I have been in love with the sport of Thoroughbred racing. My adoration for the sport has absolutely skyrocketed since that fateful first Saturday of May, seeing me visit the racetrack countless times, including trips to two Breeders’ Cups. Fortunately, there are many more racetrack visits to come in the future, including another trip to the Breeders' Cup (and hopefully even more than that)!!
Miss Fifty and me at Churchill Downs
Photo by Terri Cage

I have been blessed with so many wonderful experiences since beginning my blog. From a spectacular visit to Churchill Downs for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup, to meeting some of my favorite racehorses, to riding the incredible geldings Lights on Broadway and King of Speed, to having my article on Lights on Broadway published on, to being humbled by the rescue of several horses from the Many, Louisiana horse seizure, to sharing my story withMiss Fifty with the world, to further delving into my dream of working in the Thoroughbred sales industry, to falling in love with Dover Heights, to meeting the rescued Asmussen mares, and many other awesome experiences, Past the Grandstand has become my way to express my love of the sport of horse racing – my passion.

Sometimes – okay, a lot of times – I get too caught up in the analysis of races, the assessment of pedigrees, the evaluation of conformation, and all that jazz and nearly forget the heart of why I do all of those dissections – my love for not just the Thoroughbred, but the horse. But I get that reminder multiple times a day when I go out to the barn.

Most of my readers know me as “a young, avid fan of horse racing.” Well, yes, at sixteen, I am young and yes, of course, I am an avid fan of horse racing. But what it all boils down to is that I’m a horse lover. That’s about as close as you can get to a definition of me.

Whether it’s playing with my two bratty miniature horses; loving on my beloved twenty-eight-year-old mare Tommie Sue; rubbing on my darling Paint filly Lily or giving a pat to her dam, Jesse; calling my sister to check in on my first OTTB Dexter or on our gelding Jasper; visiting, riding, and training my charming newest addition, Sidney; or spending time with the horse that is my best friend, Pebbles, I love spending time with my horses. In fact, I’m moved to tears sometimes because of how much I love and cherish them.

I will be the first to admit I am not tremendously eloquent with words, but I will admit that I can get very mushy when it comes to my horses. It’s when I’m talking about my horses that the cheesiest things come out of my mouth. They hold my heart and they always will.

I would like to thank all my fans and readers for their support over the past year. This past year has been a gift from God and I would like to thank every single person that has supported me throughout the past year – my parents, family, and friends, of course, as well as anyone else that has helped and supported me. It truly means a lot.

I invite you all to watch this video I made below, displaying photos and videos of my life not only throughout the past year I have spent with Past the Grandstand, but my life in horse racing and with horses in general. Again, thank you all!

Remember to like Past the Grandstand on Facebook and follow Past the Grandstand on Twitter! Links can be found on the right side of the blog. 


  1. It has been such a pleasure to read and enjoy your blog, to share in your writing and photos. Along the way, of course, I've found it amazing because your knowledge and your writing and your joy in the horses so far surpasses your age! Thank you for sharing with your readers.

    1. Thank you so much, Celeste! I really appreciate your kind words!

  2. I just found your blog a few weeks ago when I was searching for info on the Asmussen mares. Best wishes for your future, no matter what direction you take, and I'll check in every once in a while. Enjoy your life and then you will have more to write about! :-)

    1. Thanks so much, Karen! Your kind comment means a lot!

  3. Mary,

    In the months since I discovered your blog, I have been excited, educated, and inspired by your fantastic work. My knowledge of horse racing has increased tenfold, as has my growing interest in the analysis of these athletes' pedigrees. I can't quite put to words how much FUN I have encountered over the course of the hours spent roving about your site. As you well know, it has inspired me to put into text my own thoughts about the wonderful sport we all know and love as Thoroughbred horse racing. So regardless of when and how much you continue to blog, my hat is off to your superb journalism, and love for the equine species.

    With school firing back up, and both barrel racing season and "colt training time" well under way, I too have found less time for posting on my blog. If you ever want to talk, you know where to find me (Facebook).

    Thanks for the journey! Here's to an excellent riding season for us both!
    (Watch for KW The Boogie Man in the Arabian leagues! ;) )

    - Emily Nocturne

    1. Thank you so very much, Emily! I always enjoy reading your comments and it truly means a lot to hear what my blog means to you. I very much enjoy your blog as well! And yes, here's to an awesome riding season. I've been busy training my new all-around Quarter Horse prospect (Sidney) and am very excited about her future. And I'll keep an eye out for KW The Boogie Man! :) Thanks again!