I’m celebrating the debut of writer pal Sasscer Hill’s first Fia McKee mystery novel FLAMINGO ROAD, published by St. Martin’s Press, with posts here and over on my other blog. Each of my blog posts contain different stories, so you have to go to the other for more. It’s part of my evil plan to generate traffic. Bwahahaha!
You may have guessed: this is the horse-centric post. 🙂
Sasscer is a former amateur steeplechase jockey, a thoroughbred breeder, and trainer from Maryland. Winner’s circle photos from back in the day hang in her Aiken, SC, office.
Several years ago, after having cyber-known each other for five years, we she had signings in Saratoga Springs during racing season. Several years later, she and her husband retired from farm life to Aiken.
I’ve been lucky enough visit Sasscer twice in Aiken, SC, in early spring, when the snow storms have slowed but it’s still cold. Many New Englanders escape winter in Florida, but that’s not my style.
Part of the fun of visiting Sasscer and her husband Daniel is going out with her and her dog Roscoe for walks through Aiken. I tend to offer my services as a photographer because that’s how I roll.
So, come along with us on a morning walk.
My photos of horses and riders passing by in the street are, well, lousy, but this will do. Imagine this is a street.
Wait. Here’s a better one from a previous visit. I took the photo from Sasscer’s car.
Back to the overcast morning of our walk. We ended up by the Aiken Training Track.
Some two-year-old fillies spotted us.
At first, one came our way. Then others followed. They just kept coming from the other side of the turnout, some trotting and some jostling, all competing for our attention.
They wore halter tags engraved with the names of Grade I stakes race-winning stallions. Big stud fees. Valuable fillies that could get hurt in their excitement. Gregarious fillies who could maybe hurt us over the fence. Roscoe is a good doggie who once lived on a farm with horses, but could he cope in the excitement?
I’m cautious and respectful of Other People’s Horses. Especially Other Peoples’ EXPEN$IVE and Potentially Hot-Blooded Horses.
So, I defaulted into photojournalist mode.
Horse bliss with Sasscer Hill. Photo by Rhonda LaneRoscoe wagged his tail and stayed put.
As usual, Sasscer talked me into being on the other side of the camera. Part of the job of “photo subject” is to hold Roscoe’s leash.
A barn employee came out to see why the fillies were so stoked. She chatted with us. I appreciated her effort, even though we are trustworthy.
For more about Sasscer, here’s her website.
America’s Best Racing did a story on FLAMINGO ROAD.
Read the first chapter of Sasscer’s debut novel FLAMINGO ROAD on the Criminal Element blog.