How I Became Crazy Racing Girl & Met Makybe Diva
I didn’t grow up in the racing industry and I don’t have any friends or family that like horse racing. So how did I become Crazy Racing Girl? How did my childhood dream of meeting Makybe Diva, getting into racing, and then buying into my first racehorse young (25) come about?
Makybe Diva, 3 time consecutive Melbourne Cup winner and champion racehorse. She is a mare that inspires emotion, amazing memories and a loyal following. Parents name their children and pets after her (true story) and ask anyone non horse racing about her and they will most likely actually know who you are talking about.
I grew up loving horses and horse riding every weekend, but I never owned a horse. I was always more interested in just horses than horse racing, until November 2003 when I watched a brown mare called Makybe Diva cross the finish line first in the Melbourne Cup. I started watching the Melbourne Cup when I was around 10 but I remember running home from school as an excited 13 year old school girl to watch the replay of Melbourne Cup in 2003 and thinking WOW when Makybe Diva won.
Note: I live in QLD and the Melbourne Cup is run right around the time school finishes so I generally had to watch the replay rather than the live version.
Makybe Diva hooked me so much that for the next year I followed her progress religiously and when she ran in her second cup in 2004 and again won (and I again ran home from school to watch the after race coverage on channel 7) I started to get really really excited about horse racing. Instead of watching races a couple of times per year I started watching racing every weekend, learning how horse racing worked, and any other knowledge I could absorb about it.
Fast forward to November 2005, I was 16 years old, totally obsessed with horse racing (much to my parents dismay) and growing more excited by the day about Makybe Diva running in her 3rd Melbourne Cup. The night before the race I begged my parents to let me stay home from school so I could watch the race live on TV. My parents were always super strict about attending school unless you couldn’t get out of bed due to illness so I had to promise to do a million chores for the next month to get them to let me stay home from school. TOTALLY WORTH IT!
When the horses jumped from the barriers in the 2005 Melbourne Cup I was so worked up on adrenaline I couldn't stand still. As the horses came to the final turn I started yelling and screaming at the TV and jumping up and down hysterically. When ‘The Diva’ crossed the finish line first ‘and a champion became a legend’ I cried. Not little tears, big wailing emotional crying. My mother thought I had gone nuts (lol) and I was shaking so hard from the adrenaline I thought I was going to pass out!
I was empowered by this horse, her amazing will to win and her big heart. After her retirement was announced right after the 2005 cup I decided that afternoon I needed to do something to honour her and her achievements. Back then Facebook was pretty new and just starting to gather popularity. A lot of people where building ‘fan pages’ for literally everything and anything, so my idea was to build a fan page for Makybe Diva. Little did I know 10 years later and almost 30,000 page likes later that her Facebook page would lead me to being given the opportunity of a lifetime and having one of my childhood dreams come true!
Note: I have been running the Makybe Diva fan page on facebook for 12 years as of November 2017.
I have actively updated the Makybe Diva fan page with with the latest news on Makybe Diva, her foals, family and related posts for years and it was, and still is the place most people go to find out the latest information on her. Then 2 years ago in July 2015 I received a message through the Makybe Diva fan page from Makybe Stud’s racing manager Wayne on behalf of Makybe Diva’s owners. 2015 was the 10 year anniversary of Makybe Diva winning her 3rd Melbourne Cup and to celebrate the milestone I was personally invited down to meet Makybe Diva in person as a thank you for running her fan page for 10 years, and to show her fans on the Makybe Diva fan page a more personal view of her.
Well you can image how loud I screamed and jumped up and down when I read that message (lol). Plans were made, flights and accommodation were booked and the date was set. The day arrived, 20th October 2015. I was so excited and at the same time nervous, would this experience be everything that I had dreamed of?
We made our way down to the paddock where Makybe Diva was grazing with her 2015 Starspangedbanner filly and some other horses.
Note: At the end of the blog post I will post a video and photo’s from this amazing day for people who would like to see more.
Makybe Diva loves apples. In fact if you don’t have apples she wants nothing much to do with you (very regal she is). We made our peace offering to the queen of racing in the form of many many apples and she consented to me standing with her to get the above photo. She is the boss mare of the paddock and if any other horse got close to her apples she’d chase them off, so I’d say she almost got the entire bag of apples to herself that day (lol). Makybe’s Starspangledbanner filly however was a completely different story, she would not leave me alone, she was super friendly, inquisitive, and followed me everywhere in the paddock demanding attention and pats - and it was the cutest thing ever!
Note: The Starspangledbanner filly is now a yearling and has been retained to race by Tony Santic. She has not been offically named yet.
After spending a good hour or more patting everyone, getting lots of photos and videos and feeding large amounts of apples we left Makybe Diva and I was given a tour of the rest of the farm. It was here that I got to meet Collins, Makybe Diva’s full sister.
At the time Collins was almost ready to be sent off to be trained by Troy & Leon Corstens to begin her life as a racehorse. She was extremely smoochy and simply wanted scratches the entire time. I spent a good half an hour in the paddock with her giving scratches while she chased me around the paddock just wanting attention. It was an amazing experience.
But my amazing day was not over yet. Unknown to me, a personal one on one meet and greet with Starspangledbanner had been set up at Rosemont Stud just down the road. I had casually mentioned to Makybe’s racing manger on one of our phone conversations that Starspangledbanner was one of my favorite stallions and because Tony Santic also bred and raced Starspangledbanner early in his career before he went to the UK, I joked that it was amazing that two of my favorite racehorses were bred and raced by the same person.
So my amazing day ended with me getting a one on one meet and greet session with Starspangledbanner and having lots of pats. He was extremely chilled out and was happy to let me give him some attention.
I was also lucky enough to see Starcraft and Toorak Toff in their stallion paddocks at Rosemont Stud. It was seriously the best day of my life to date and I was walking on cloud nine for at least 2 days afterwards.
So in conclusion everything that has happened to me in regards to horse racing has been because of Makybe Diva.
- My love of horse racing… Makybe Diva.
- Buying into my first racehorse and others since then… Makybe Diva. (future blog post)
- Attending my first horse racing tour to the Hunter Valley studs… Makybe Diva. (future blog post)
- Meeting and getting to pat Starspangledbanner, Dissident, So You Think, Lonhro, Sepoy and Carlton House… Makybe Diva. (future blog post)
- Following my passion and one day hopefully fulfilling my life goal of having my own women’s only racing syndicate and breeding a group 1 winning racehorse… Makybe Diva (fingers crossed haha).
I started Crazy Racing Girl because I really am crazy, passionate and slightly obsessed about horse racing and I want to share my passion for horse racing with everyone. I love everything about horse racing and not just the racing side. I also love the breeding side and looking over pedigrees and yearling sale catalogs for hours on end (how awesome are those sale catalogues) and as mentioned above I’d also love to get into breeding one day.
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Thanks for reading. See photos and videos from my trip to meet Makybe Diva below.