If you’re anything like me within the first 30 minutes of waking up (OK, while you’re still in bed) you reach over to your phone and scroll through your Instagram feed (and Twitter). Why not add some more equestrian pictures to that feed?!
With some help from my fellow ambassadors, I’ve compiled a list of 20 awesome Instagram accounts that make you wish you could spend every moment of every day at the track with the spectacular athletes of our great sport.
Mary Ellet was born into the sport and now ponies racehorses (escorts them to and from the track) at the Southern California racetracks. Both of her parents pony horses and her mom is also an outrider in the morning.
Smarty Jones’ win in the 2004 Kentucky Derby struck a chord with Victoria Solzbach and after a trip to Colonial Downs in 2009 she began taking pictures and found she really loved horse racing.
“I got a better camera, found a good editing system and found I loved sharing my pictures with people as much as I loved taking them!”
Terra Turin, 18, was introduced to the “Sport of Kings” when her dad brought to Santa Anita Park at age 6.
“I surround myself with the sport 24/7 as I found out I can't live without this sport.”
Turin aspires to be a track photographer.
As a freshman in high school, Margaret Gaston started hot walking for trainer Allen Milligan – a hot walker is a person who walks horses as they cool down after exercise, a workout, or a race - and took an off-the-track Thoroughbred for a riding horse.
Like many backstretch workers, she was immediately sucked into the sport of horse racing.
“I simply love the sport, the atmosphere, and the horses,” said Gaston, 17. “I got into photography the following year and this will be my third year glued to the Oaklawn rail taking pictures. I receive a lot of help from the photographers of Coady Photography, they have helped me tremendously. I do it for fun and hope to pursue a career as a vet after attending Oklahoma State University.”
Bree Wright has always really loved animals, especially horses. Once her family took her to the track she fell in love and has been taking pictures ever since.
Taylor Houser is a pony girl at Santa Anita for Oscar Garcia. She was introduced to horse racing by her stepfather, who owned racehorses in Seattle.
Cesar De Alba was raised in a ranch in North County, San Diego, where he learned to ride and decided he wanted to be a jockey.
His family has always been into horse racing. His dad trains and gallops Thoroughbreds at San Luis Rey downs, some of his uncles gallop horses at Santa Anita and another uncle, Eddie Garcia, is a jockey at Los Alamitos.
Maryland-based jockey Trevor McCarthy is the son of retired jockey and current trainer Michael McCarthy.
Thoroughbred trainer Graham Motion won the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2004 with Better Talk Now but is probably best known for his work with 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who returned from injury to win the 2013 Dubai World Cup. Motion is one of the most respected trainers in the biz.
New York-based America’s Best Racing brand ambassador Dan Tordjman is the founder of the horse racing website www.danonymousracing.com and is a freelance writer, blogger and handicapper.
He spent much of the last decade traveling the country while working in the television industry and has worked tirelessly to promote Thoroughbred racing on his website.
California-based America’s Best Racing brand ambassador Jose Contreras is a “Cal-bred” who grew up going to the races at his home tracks. He has extensive handicapping experience and has shared his selections with the public on his blog www.losponies.com before joining ABR.
He studied at the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona.
America’s Best Racing – that’s us!
Churchill Downs - Home of the Kentucky Derby.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club - “Where the turf meets the surf.”
For all things Keeneland – racing and sales.
Kentucky Derby –“The Greatest TWO MINUTES in sports.”
The Maryland Jockey Club - Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and all things Preakness!
The New York Racing Association: Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course with plenty of Belmont Stakes.
Santa Anita Park - “The Great Race Place.”
If you’re not doing so already, be sure to follow these wonderful accounts and if you have any favorite accounts that I left off be sure to let me know in the comments.
I would love to check them out!