Reaching for Roses: The Beginning of the Journey

About Me and the Blog

Welcome to my blog! Let me introduce myself and give you some information about the two focuses of this blog.

My name is Travers Manley and I was born in Louisville, KY in 1988. My dad has been a horse racing fan his whole life and named me after his favorite race, The Travers Stakes. Having a Dad that would name his son after a horse race means I was exposed to Thoroughbred horse racing from a very early age. In fact, my earliest memories as a child are at race courses, especially Keeneland. I always loved going to the races with my family, but I never considered myself a fanatic or thought about a career in the industry. That all changed in 2004 when I visited Saratoga Race Course for the first time. I walked through the gates of Saratoga and horse racing became an obsession. I remember looking around and thinking, “I’m not sure what I’m going to do in this industry, but this is where I will make my career. This is where I want to be.”

Since then, I have been working very hard to make something of myself in this industry. I currently go to school at the University of Kentucky, where I major in Equine Management, and I’ve held jobs with Crestwood Farm, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Keeneland, Bluewater Sales, the Breeders’ Cup, and Chesapeake Farm. I am currently finishing up my senior year and will graduate on May 8, 2011. Upon graduation I will go to work at Churchill Downs as a Media Coordinator and Staff Writer. I am very excited about beginning this next chapter of my life. So…this is focus point #1. I will be blogging about my career in the horse racing and breeding industry.

Focal point #2 will be about my small breeding operation that I started in February. At the 2010 Fasig Tipton Winter Mixed Sale in Lexington I purchased hip #260. The name of the mare is Sky. She is a 7-year-old daughter of Menifee, out of the Sky Classic mare named Skyshine. Bred in KY by J.H. Stone and Arthur B. Hancock III, Sky was consigned by Penn Farm. Sky sold with an Even the Score filly by her side and I have nicknamed this foal “Skype.” Skype was born on February 1st; just one week prior to the sale. Since then, Sky has had another foal that I bred, a chestnut filly by Parading, that I’ve named Faith. I will be blogging often about being a first time horse owner/breeder and giving updates on Sky, Skype, and Faith.

I look forward to writing about my horses and my life in the horse industry. My hope is that you will enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

Thanks again for visiting.




  1. It is wonderful to see such focus. Your love of horses and your faith in God will be your guideposts to your success.

    Comment by Mary Fred C oy — June 7, 2010 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

    • That is so sweet of you for what you commented on Travers’ blog! He has been working SOOO HARD!!! So I think it really makes him feel good when people (especially your sweet little self 😉 We just love you guys! Love, Alyson

      Comment by Aly M. — June 20, 2010 @ 1:48 am | Reply

  2. I’m excited to see another guy my age just as much into Horse Racing as I am and also looking to enter the industry. Good luck to you, it sounds like you’re off to a terrific start! Are you planning on racing any of the foals you breed or selling them?

    Comment by Brian Appleton — June 25, 2010 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  3. good luck with the blog and your breeding endeavors, Travers.

    Comment by sidfernando — July 20, 2010 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  4. Keep up the great work, Travers. I love what your are dong!

    Comment by ZATT — August 5, 2010 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  5. Good luck and be careful. Look at Bloodstock in the Bluegrass and hunt for the studies on racing class in the dam…..

    Comment by terrang — September 6, 2010 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

  6. Hi Travers, I really enjoyed reading your blog, too, although I didn’t find the “about me and this blog” tab until after I’d read the whole first page of posts and tried to figure out who you were and what was going on! I think it’s super. I write a couple of blogs in the mainstream horseworld, focusing of horse health, but I am a member of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance. If your blog was part of the Alliance, you could get a lot of people reading it, if that would help you. There’s more info here: if you are interested. I know I’d like to read your blog again and find out how Sky and Skype are doing!

    Good luck!

    Fran Jurga

    Comment by fran — November 22, 2010 @ 1:22 am | Reply

  7. Updated I see. Good thinking!

    Comment by Observer — April 26, 2011 @ 7:44 am | Reply

  8. Hi Travers,

    I came across your blog while searching for work possibilities as a exercise rider. I’m currently living in Louisville, and I wasn’t sure if it was more of a “network” kind of thing there at Churchill Downs, or if there was somewhere where one could apply for a position.

    I grew up just outside of Lexington, and have over five years of experience in riding and training, including some time at a farm which bred and raced thorougbreds.

    Anyway, as I say, you were one of the more informative people I came up with in my immediate searching. I hope you don’t mind me contacting you here. If you have any general pointers or directions you could possibly share, whenever you have the time I would greatly appreciate it. Really enjoyed reading your blog!

    Thanks again!

    Esther Brooks

    Comment by Esther Brooks — July 16, 2011 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

    • Hey Esther,

      Let me talk to a couple of people and do some thinking and I’ll try and help you out.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.


      Comment by traversman — July 24, 2011 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  9. Thanks so much! Looking forward to hearing about what you can find out!

    Comment by Esther Brooks — July 24, 2011 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

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