Reaching for Roses: The Beginning of the Journey

September 22, 2011

Having Dreams is What Makes Life Tolerable

Well the day is almost here. Skype arrived at Barn 40 at Keeneland on Wednesday afternoon, she will be shown to prospective buyers today (Thursday) and will sell on Friday morning as Hip 3694. Jennie Rees, the turf writer for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, wrote a lovely piece on Skype today. You can read it by clicking on the following link – To clarify…the words “college kid” should probably be replaced with “recent college grad.” But oh well…I could still pass for a freshman and I guess I could still be considered a college kid considering I’ve only been out in the real world for four months.

Anyway you can find a lot of good information at the link and read a few of my thoughts on the sale. You can even see the advertisement I made for Skype and have been distributing to prospective buyers.

Now…I will get a little more personal and try to tell you about my feelings going into the sale that you won’t find in Jennie’s article.

The purpose of this blog was to give readers a look into my life in the horse industry and my experiences as a first time owner/breeder. I have done my best to get as personal as possible and my hope was that readers could enjoy this fabulous ride with me. A lot of times I have a pretty good idea about what I’m going to see when I click the “New Post” button on my blog; however, today the words just won’t come to me.


Because I couldn’t describe to someone how I am feeling right now if I tried. I’ve never felt so many emotions at one time. I’m nervous, excited, anxious, proud, happy and sad all at once. Since February of 2010, all I’ve talked about has been Sky and Skype and then the next February it became Sky, Skype and Faith. On Friday afternoon, I won’t be Skype’s owner anymore and when people ask me the names of my horses, I’m going to reply with “Sky and Faith.” No more Skype. It’s just a weird thing to think about.

Now some of you might be thinking, “Come on, kid. She’s a sales horse and you knew you were going to sell her at some point from the day you bought her.” Well, that’s true. I knew this day would come eventually. But parents also know they’re kids will someday leave home, but that day still comes with a whirlwind of emotions. Because things simply aren’t going to be the same.

Speaking of kids…I think I now know how my mom and dad felt about me when I would compete in sports. Sometimes I would think, “My parents probably wish I was bigger, stronger and faster. They would probably rather have that kid or that kid. I’m not as good as those other players.” Now I realize that none of that mattered. They were proud of me because I was their kid. They didn’t want anyone else. And whether I went 5-5 or 0-5, they were still going to love me. That’s how I feel going into this sale with Skype. I don’t have 500 horses like some people…I don’t have 50 horses…I have three and because of that I have grown extra attached to each of them. Sure it would be nice if Skype was by Bernardini instead of Even the Score or if Sky had won a Grade I race. But that’s not how things are and I’m fine with that. I love Skype and I couldn’t be more proud of her or more happy that I had the privilege of being her owner these last couple years.

People who consistently read this blog are not reading anything new. But maybe this is your first time to my blog and you’re just now understanding how much these horses mean to me. Maybe some of you are thinking…”Wow, he sure cares a lot about a horse in Book 6.”

Damn right I do.

And I hope people realize that every horse in the Keeneland sale means a lot to someone somewhere. Sure the amount of press that horses get decreases as the sale continues and some people don’t even pay attention to the Keeneland sale after the first few books. But the horses in Book 6 matter just as much as those in Book 1. While they do not carry equal monetary values, horses in Book 6 are cared for just as much and have affected just as many lives. For example, in less than two years, Skype has impacted the lives of Sam Penn (breeder), Frank Mitchell and his family who boarded her at their farm in Salvisa, Ky, Tom Evans and his team at Trackside Farm, my entire family and numerous friends that have come to see her throughout her life. And things have only just begun. Imagine how many people will be affected by Skype in her lifetime.

Skype has touched a lot of hearts and will continue to do so; however, I would be surprised if she will ever steal anyone’s heart like she has stolen mine. Skype will get a new owner on Friday, but she’ll always be my girl and will always have a place in my heart. I am excited to see where her life takes her and I can’t wait to update the blog on her first published workout and her first career win (and hopefully many wins).

So go get ’em, Skype! You’ll do great at the sale. Strut your stuff and if a few people likes you 1/100th as much as I do then you could be the session topper. And finally, I hope you know that “Whatever road you may be on, know you’re never too far gone; my love is there wherever you may be; Just remember, that you’ll always be my baby.”



  1. Well said, Travers. There will be graded stakes winners found in every book at Keeneland. Despite the difference in prices from Book 1 to Book 6, the difference in quality is not nearly so great. Best of luck to you and to Skype as you take the next steps along the journey … hopefully to racing stardom.

    Comment by fmitchell07 — September 22, 2011 @ 5:50 am | Reply

  2. Travers, I remember how excited I was when I sold my first yearling. He treated me well and enabled me to buy my first car. Can you imagine $4ooo being enough to buy a nice car? Of course, the year was 1969! I feel very blessed that you were the one to buy Sky and Skype from me as I have truly enjoyed meeting you and knowing you. Good luck on your maiden voyage!

    Sam Penn.

    Comment by Sam Penn — September 22, 2011 @ 6:07 am | Reply

  3. Well, I was doing just fine until that last paragraph.

    If having dreams is what makes life tolerable then what makes life wonderful? I would say having dreams come true. I see many dreams coming true for you on the horizon. And not all of them involve horses.

    Comment by Observer — September 22, 2011 @ 8:10 am | Reply

  4. Travers,
    Jordan shared your blog with me and all i could think was how proud your parents must be and how fortunate you are to that your lifes work is something that you are so passionate about and love,not many can say that, truly a gift. Whomever purchases Skype will no doubt fall in love with her too. All the best and look forward to seeing you when we are in Lexington next Spring.
    Mrs. Candea

    Comment by Joan Candea — September 22, 2011 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  5. Travers. Well, I’m about ready to cry. I have followed your journey from the start and will continue to do so with Faith and Sky and her next foal. (I love Stevie Wonderboy) or as long as you continue your blog.
    Thank you Travers for the incredible ride you have taken us on so far. Good luck tomorrow. To me, Skype is a winner in any Book!

    Comment by SR Vegas — September 22, 2011 @ 2:02 pm | Reply

  6. Go Baby, Go. It’s people like you who give me hope for racing.

    Comment by Rlle — September 23, 2011 @ 7:01 am | Reply

  7. Travers,

    Best of luck today and always.

    Ned Daly

    Comment by Ned Daly — September 23, 2011 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  8. You forgot a few folks in your list of those whose lives Skype has touched. I’d say there’s more than a few readers of this blog who have been affected by Skype and are very interested to see what happens to her. Whatever happens, we’re not likely to forget her, or your touching stories.

    Comment by Becky — September 23, 2011 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

  9. Travers,

    Just found the blog, but have enjoyed it immensely. As a fairly recent grad, I tip my (metaphorical) hat to you for getting out and doing it. Hope you keep the blog going, love following insightful intelligent participants. Are you on Twitter?


    Comment by Nicholas — September 25, 2011 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

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