One Year of Racing Reviewer
Happy first anniversary to Racing Reviewer!
The name Racing Reviewer and the publication’s icon—a black horse looking towards the sun — are nods to my first, best equine muse: Ruffian. Sired by Reviewer, she was a deep, dark bay — nearly black — and is widely regarded as the best 3-year-old filly in racing history.
Racing Reviewer is also precisely that — a review of, or look at, the beautiful, thrilling sport of Thoroughbred racing through photographs and words.
I aim to capture what I see in my photographs — the small details that jump out and offer clues about the mood of the scene or what the subjects are feeling. I rely upon visual cues and observations because I am 95% deaf. When you take away one sense — hearing, in this case — the remaining senses adapt and the world becomes a rich, vivid place full of visual messages.
One last note before we take a look back at Racing Reviewer’s first year.
I have not met another deaf photographer since I graduated college in 2004, and I have never met, in person, another deaf person in the wide world of horses, much less horse racing. So imagine my surprise when I met another deaf photographer at the Breeders’ Cup! His name is Ron Morrow and he works for Tops In Lex.
Ron told me that he was employed by the post office for over 30 years. Upon retirement from the post office, he received a Nikon DSLR as a retirement gift. The camera sparked a passion for photography, which he now pursues for a living.
Meeting Ron was one of the highlights of the fantastic whirlwind that was the Breeders’ Cup. Ron’s story is proof that you never know where your passions will take you — or when.
- The first original piece I did for Racing Reviewer was Finding Ogygian, a farewell to a great, old horse that I came to know on a personal level.
- I had the chance to weave together two of my greatest loves — racing and New Orleans — in Racing in New Orleans: Two Loves.
- To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Lucky Debonair’s Kentucky Derby win, I re-ran Danada Farm, Home of 1965 Kentucky Derby Winner Lucky Debonair. Danada Farm will host a 5k run for One Last Race in June.
- I re-visited Old Friends, home of Ogygian, in Old Friends: A Photo Gallery.
- One year after the great Cigar died, I re-ran Cigar: Larger Than Life.
- I also re-published my original photo essays for Horse Racing Nation.
As a writer, sometimes you tap into a rich vein and the words flow freely. Early in the year, a bay colt with a short tail and misspelled name established himself as such a muse.
Of course, that colt was none other than American Pharoah. A complete list of my work about him is below:
- Kentucky Derby Week in Review
- Belmont Stakes Week(s) in Review
- History Rewritten
- American Pharoah more than held his own among the greats — the numbers prove it
- Reflections Upon American Pharoah’s Haskell
- The Breeders’ Cup in Photos: American Pharoah, Horse of a Lifetime
- Long Live the Pharoah
Thanks for reading,
This letter is dedicated to…
…and Storm Flag Flying, who gave us a thrilling Breeders’ Cup finish in the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.