Reaching for Roses: The Beginning of the Journey

February 21, 2011

DanceBlue Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — traversman @ 4:49 pm
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Just wanted to let the readers know the results from DanceBlue 2011. UK’s 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon raised $673,976.60 for the Golden Matrix Fund! It was a record-setting number for the marathon that began in 2006. It was my fourth and final year as a dancer and it was the best year yet. The four DanceBlue weekends I participated in are four of the best weekends of my college career. Thank you to everyone that supported me throughout the marathon. Your words of encouragement made it a lot easier.

Below is a picture of my DanceBlue team (Phi Gamma Delta), as well as a video of the money raised reveal and final line dance.


February 18, 2011

DanceBlue…For the Kids

Filed under: Uncategorized — traversman @ 1:38 am
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It’s DanceBlue time again at the University of Kentucky. Here is some information on DanceBlue from their website:

“DanceBlue is a student run philanthropy at the University of Kentucky. It is a year-long fundraising effort involving thousands of UK students, which culminates in a 24-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon on UK’s campus. All of the money raised by DanceBlue goes to the Golden Matrix Fund. DanceBlue has been active for over five years, raising almost two million dollars for the UK Pediatric Oncology Clinic and Markey Cancer Center. Every year, over 120 campus organizations and 600 dancers help raise money to support all the DanceBlue families.”

Also, here is the 2010 DanceBlue promotional video

This will be my fourth year as a dancer at DanceBlue. I remember my first time dancing at the marathon in 2008. It was such an amazing and rewarding experience that I promised myself I would dance every year until I graduated. Well, I am going to graduate in May and I am happy to know that I was able to be a part of this incredible philanthropy for four years.

So…from 8 PM on Friday night to 8 PM on Saturday night, I will be dancing at Memorial Coliseum with 700 other UK students; raising money and awareness for the UK Pediatric Oncology Department and the Markey Cancer Center. Twenty-four hours of no-sleeping and no-sitting all FOR THE KIDS.

If you would like to learn more about UK’s DanceBlue, you can visit the website at

Also, if you would like to make a donation to DanceBlue then you may click the following link: The donation page requires you to select a team to support with your donation. If you would like to support my team, then select Phi Gamma Delta. Any donation is much appreciated.

Finally, if you’re in Lexington (or not too far away), I suggest that you try to visit Memorial Coliseum to see DanceBlue in person. It really is quite the event. The final DanceBlue line dance and money raised “reveal” will be at about 7:45 PM on Saturday night. You can watch last year’s final line dance and reveal below. And in case you can’t see the signs clearly enough, last year DanceBlue raised $636,638.58!!!

February 13, 2011

I’ve Got Faith

A couple of days ago I asked for suggestions for a nickname for Sky’s new foal. I ended up getting a lot of suggestions. Here are a few of my favorites:

Fergie – suggested by Sean Feld; Fergie is the lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas, the group that performed at halftime of this year’s Super Bowl.

Aurie – suggested by Valerie; Aurie would be short for Aurora, the Latin goddess of the dawn who led the Sun across the Sky each day. The Observer suggested Eos, who is the Greek goddess of the dawn.

Skittle – suggested by JemMox; He came up with the name by combining Sky and little. Personally, I think it’s a great nickname…especially if the “i” was changed to a “y” for Skyttle.

Float – suggested by Chris; A nickname that plays off the foal’s sire, Parading. I bet many of Parading’s registered¬† names will include the word float.

There were many other name suggestions, but those were just a few of my favorites. All of the name suggestions were great; however, none of the ones suggested will be used as the foal’s nickname. Instead, I will use a name that I came up with. Please don’t be too hard on me for not using a name suggested by one of the readers. I never had more than a goldfish growing up and so I’m taking advantage of being able to name an animal. Perhaps someday I’ll own a big stable of horses and every reader of the blog can name one. Which reminds me…I need to go buy a lottery ticket soon.

Anyway, back to the name of this foal. The filly was born on Super Bowl Sunday and I wanted to try to incorporate that into her name. I also wanted a short name, preferably just one word and only one or two syllables. Finally, I wanted something meaningful to me. I came up with a name that met all of those requirements.

The new filly will be nicknamed Faith.

After the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, Packers’ wide receiver Greg Jennings was interviewed on the field. During the interview he repeated the phrase, “To God be the glory.” I remember watching it live and thought it was really cool that Jennings remembered to give praise to God. Many athletes say, “I’m going to Disney World,” after winning a championship, but not Jennings. His words inspired me to go with a name that had a Biblical connection.

I began to think about some of my favorite Bible verses. One that came to mind was 1 Corinthians 13:13. It states, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Faith, hope, and love. They were all finalists for the nickname of the new foal. Then I began to think about each one a little more.

I have a lot of hope in my life. I wrote a blog post a couple of months ago about the entire Thoroughbred industry being built on hope. I have hopes and dreams for my personal life and my career.

I have a ton of love in my life. I have the most supportive family in the entire world that loves me more than I can even understand. I have many close friends that love me. I also have a God that loves me and looks after me.

Now we move on to faith. I am less than three months from graduating and my future is still uncertain. Sometimes I lose sleep at night thinking about where I will be in a year. I have three horses that I have very high hopes for, but I know that this sport is one of the toughest in the world. It has the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I can hope all I want, but that doesn’t mean my hopes will come true. What I need most in my life is faith.

I need faith that I’ll be okay when I graduate. I need faith to remember that God has a plan for my life and He will direct my paths. I need faith that whether Skype and Faith go on to be Grade 1 winners or low-level claimers that I’ll be okay. I need faith that my life is only slightly affected by things that I can control. The rest is up to the Big Guy. By nicknaming the foal Faith, I will constantly remember that I just need to “keep the faith.”

So…the nickname of the foal will be Faith. Thank you to everyone for all the support and kind words and a special thank you to the readers that suggested a nickname.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Faith taking a nap. Perhaps someday this little one will have a registered name like “MyFaithsintheSky.”


February 11, 2011

Name Game – The New Foal

Okay readers, I would like some help in nick-naming the new foal. Here is some information to help you out:

  • Her pedigree is Parading – Sky, by Menifee
  • She was born on February 6, 2011 – Super Bowl Sunday
  • She is a chestnut
  • She has a big sister named Skype and an older brother named Sky Above.
  • It is only her nickname, so I’d like it to be just one word and only one or two syllables.

It’s hard to name an animal that you’ve never seen so the following videos should help you out. These videos were taken just an hour after the filly’s birth. Enjoy the videos and I’m looking forward to seeing what names you can come up with.

February 8, 2011

One Year as a Horse Owner

It was one year ago today that I became a horse owner at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed sale. February 8, 2010 is so fresh in my memory that it is not like it happened yesterday, but as if it happened ten minutes ago. If I close my eyes I can picture sitting in my seat in the sales pavilion and shaking as Walt Robertson pointed at me and exclaimed, “Sold!” Then I remember my dad and I rushing over to see the results on one of the computers. We both teared up a little when the following picture came on the screen.

To commemorate the anniversary of me becoming a horse owner, I would like to re-post three blog articles that were written about that special day.

The first is titled “The Scoop at Fasig February” and was written by Frank Mitchell. This is his recap of my journey to buy my first horse. Last year, this article was the highest viewed post on Frank’s blog, Bloodstock in the Bluegrass. Give it a read at

The second article was written by me back when I started this blog in early June. This is my recap of the day I bought Sky and Skype. It is titled “The Day I Became a Horse Owner” and can be read at

There is also a second part to the first article that I wrote and can be read at

February 8, 2010 will go down as one of the best days of my life. Hopefully by reading the above articles you can share in some of my excitement from that day.

Have a great day and stay tuned for some pictures and videos of Sky’s new foal that was born on Sunday.

February 6, 2011

The Parading foal is on the ground!

Just wanted to let everyone know the good news. At 6:30 AM this morning, February 6th, Sky gave birth to a healthy chestnut filly! I will post more about the little foal soon, including pictures and videos of her. I am so happy that there is now a horse on the ground that I bred. Remember… Skype was a week old when I bought her and her breeder is not me, but a wonderful gentleman named Sam Penn. This is the first foal that will go down as being bred by Travers Manley. This is a huge day for me and I could not be more proud.


Here is one picture that I uploaded from my phone. The foal is just one hour old here.

February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Skype!

Filed under: Sky,Skype — traversman @ 3:12 pm
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Today, February 1st, is Skype’s one-year birthday! I know that she has technically been a yearling for a month, but today is her official birthday. It has been an absolute privilege getting to watch her grow up over the past year. It really is amazing how much she has developed. The first picture below is a picture of Skype and me about 6 weeks ago. The second picture is of me with Sky and Skype when Skype was just 2 weeks old. It seems like that picture was just taken yesterday, but it’s been almost a year.

It is clear to see how much Skype has changed. The one thing that hasn’t changed is my pure joy to be her owner. The smile on my face that is seen in both pictures has been there since the day I bought Sky and Skype. Anytime that I get down or stressed, all I have to do is look at a picture of Sky or Skype and I can’t help but smile.

I won’t be able to make it out to the farm to see Sky and Skype today; however, I will be out there later this week. I’ll be sure to post new pictures of me with my two girls in the next few days and you better believe that I’ll be smiling in all of them. When I’m with them…I couldn’t frown even if I tried.

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