How long have you worked for Herringswell Stables? My first time riding at Fair Hill was probably in 2007. I brought my pony up for the summer and would ride her around and then get on a quiet jogger for Graham. A year later in 2008 I then started galloping for Graham during my summer vacation. After that I would usually come back every summer. I started full time in 2014 when I moved here for college.
How did you become involved with horses? I was born into a racing family, but I didn’t get into racing until I was about 12. I grew up horse showing and foxhunting in Virginia. My dad always jokes and says “it was easier to put Mary on the back of a horse than in a stroller.” My mom would also always say I was “much safer on the back of a horse” than my own two feet. I got my first horse for junior steeplechase racing named Orpington when I was 14 and quickly fell in love with racing.
What was your first racing-related job? Other than learning how to gallop when I was 12-13 at Fair Hill for Graham, my first “real” job in racing was for Neil Morris at Kinross Farm in Middleburg, Virginia. I started galloping horses for him before school when I was 15, and when I was 16 I became his amateur steeplechase jockey.
What is your favorite racing memory? My favorite racing memory at Herringswell would probably be when Journey Home won the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar. It was only her second start as a 2-year-old after she broke her maiden easily at Laurel a month before. There were some very nice fillies in the race who had more experience than her, and there was a huge storm during the race. She handled it like a pro and went exactly the way I had taught her to go at home in her works despite all of the chaos in the race. She crossed the wire with her ears pricked like it was just a walk in the park.
I have so many wonderful memories in racing. From going racing (usually to Woodbine) on my weekends off from school with graded stakes horses, to just figuring out a difficult horse and seeing them do well and enjoying their jobs as much as I enjoy mine. But one of the most special memories for me in racing is when I was in England working for Oliver Sherwood and Many Clouds won the Grand National.