Reaching for Roses: The Beginning of the Journey

April 16, 2012

A Tough One to Write

Filed under: Uncategorized — traversman @ 8:46 pm

I know that when I posted at the end of December, I promised that I would update the blog more regularly. Well, the Derby madness, commonly referred to as #theothermadness on Twitter, was in full force starting when I got back to work after the New Year. When my co-workers would talk about the Derby, they often would look at me and say, “You have no idea.”

Well, I am learning they were right. The workload has been pretty heavy for the last few months and the past month has been crazy. I often woke up with the plan to update the blog when I got home, but that plan always went out the window by the end of a long day.

Finally I decided that I would wait for a “big” update. Well…what bigger update than Sky having her Stevie Wonderboy foal?

She hit the 11-month mark at the beginning of April and we’ve been waiting patiently for her to foal. Randomly last night my dad texted me and asked if I had an update on Sky. I realized at that point I hadn’t talked to my farm manager, Frank Mitchell, in a couple of weeks so I gave him a call. He said Sky was in good shape and could foal at any moment. I reminded him that I wanted to be called as soon as She foals, regardless of the time of day or night.

Well just so happens that at 2:30 a.m. today I was woken up by a phone call from Frank and he informed me Sky just had a chestnut colt. I was so excited that I struggled to go back to sleep after I hung up the phone. I started thinking about names seriously for the first time. The leader in the clubhouse (pun intended) was Jeter, in honor of my favorite player on my favorite team.

Finally I was able to get back to sleep around 4 a.m.

At 6:20 am as I was getting ready to head over to the track when my phone rang. It was Frank. And…because I am a pessimist, I feared the worst.

Unfortunately, my fears were realized and when I answered the phone, Frank said, “Travers, I have bad news. The foal died.”

I was speechless and I could tell Frank was very upset, as well. He said there was no obvious reason for the foal’s death, but that it was very weak when it was born and they were never able to get him to stand and nurse. It was a short phone conversation because there wasn’t much to say from either of us.

I talked to Frank a few hours ago and he said the vet came and checked Sky and physically she appears to be okay. The doctor advised the foal be taken to UK’s Animal Diagnostic Lab, so that is where he was taken to undergo a few tests. I am not sure when I will know the results.

This is a pretty big blow and I have had a nauseous feeling all day. This game is absolutely brutal with the “highest of highs and the lowest of lows.” Unfortunately, today is the lowest low I’ve experienced since getting into the business over two years ago.

I’m sorry that my first update in months had to be about such bad news. I appreciate the thoughts. I am doing my best to stay positive and keep faith in God and remember everything happens for a reason.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.



  1. Travers, I am so sorry to hear this! I hope you find strength to get through this difficult time. My sincere condolences.

    Comment by Emily plant — April 16, 2012 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

  2. I am so sorry. You have my sympathy and prayers.

    Comment by Turnbackthealarm — April 16, 2012 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

  3. I meant to call Frank today and ask him “what happened to that Travers Kid.” We can suffer because we love or we can suffer because we don’t, take your pick. Hang in there man, and try to post a little more often; you get to see what the rest only read about.

    Comment by Jim Culpepper — April 17, 2012 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  4. Sky continues to recover from her difficult foaling and is brighter and more comfortable day by day. You both deserved a happier result, but horses – racehorses or pleasure horses – can give wondrous highs and such painful lows.

    Comment by fmitchell07 — April 18, 2012 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  5. Travers
    My heart goes out to you. Stay strong.

    Comment by Ned Daly — April 19, 2012 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

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