In search of a distant rider

by Trey Nosrac

Christmas Greetings Jack and Veronica.

I hope all is well in North Carolina.

Another of my annual harness racing rides has begun. At this moment, a filly is prancing through the snow at a breeding farm. This beautiful animal will soon leave the farm and head to a trainer. This note is not a sales pitch. It is an invitation to join me by taking a tiny sliver of ownership for her first year in the sport of harness racing.

The Carolinas are not known as hotbeds of harness racing or, for that matter, any legalized gambling. The last harness race took place at Washington Park Racetrack in Myrtle Beach over seven decades ago. The racetrack got the boot because the state legislature did not want any gambling in River City.

I look in on horse racing legislation from time to time, and not much has changed in the Palmetto and Tarheel states. They remain oceans of purity in present-day legalized gambling.

But I digress.

The gist of this idea is that you invest a small amount in one of my yearlings.

Now, why would you want to do this?

I believe you will have fun. In my world, having fun is enough reason to try different things.

I believe you will learn a few things about the sport that will surprise you and interest you.

You may make money. Possible, but quite iffy. The point of my proposal is not a promise of profit.

You may lose money. Not much, at worst, you will have an adventurous year in my world for the price of a few expensive dinners and a few rounds of golf at nearby Country Clubs.

Why am I doing this, and why am I annoying you?

The purpose of my project is to demonstrate that location is no longer an obstacle to ownership of harness racehorses.

You reside in a state that is a black hole for my sport.

You do not know much about my sport, and Jack has a documented history of doing goofy things with tenacity, logic, and enthusiasm.

Modern technology is the foundation of my experiment. Jack, I hear you laughing from 623 miles away. FYI, I have come a long way since you had to show me how to turn on my new flip phone and then dazzled me with the wonders of a wireless mouse.

Yes, Jack, you have some responsibility for this project. You planted a seed when you told me about your friends in Europe and how you regularly communicate with them via FaceTime, text, email and zoom. You interact with these folks on musical projects, downloading and uploading like melodic maniacs. I find this long-distance connection very cool.

In the year 2022, anyone, anywhere, can sample harness racing. A new participant can reside in Timbuktu or Bora Bora and sample the sport using cell phones, videos, remote cameras, uploaded files, links, and other communications. All a person needs is curiosity and someone on the other end of the Internet connection. Unfortunately, I do not know any Timbuktuians or Bora Boraians, so I began my quest for a few lab rats in South Port, NC.

My sport is in a bit of an upswing in a few states. The purses for talented racehorses are substantial, the people are friendly, and the horses are beautiful. More importantly for this venture, if you have a trotter or pacer racing, or a young horse attempting to qualify, you can watch almost everything from anywhere these days. Watching racing on your phone or laptop, races at the local fairs, training sessions, and interviews with trainers are no longer beyond the ability of a ten-year-old child or the digital reach of anyone.

Sitting on your veranda with an open laptop, you can experience much of a horse’s 2-year-old training and racing season. I hope to send correspondence twice each month that will be half video and half report and explanation. If my math is correct, between the first report in January and when the 2-year-old begins their racing career, the people on the other end of the correspondence will receive about a dozen text/video lessons on my sport and their horse.

So here is the recap:

Should you be interested in participating in this adventure with one of the yearlings I purchased this past fall, please send me your RSVP. If not, absolutely no problem. My unusual world is not everyone’s cup of tea.

I hope you send me a positive reply so that I do not need to look to strangers in Timbuktu and Bora Bora.

Happy Holidays.