Picnic at Adsit Racing in Saratoga

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“More pasta salad, please,” says wanna-be party goer behind Abigail’s mom. (Photo by Rhonda Lane)

I was over-the-moon delighted to be invited to a picnic last summer at Abigail Adsit Racing Stable in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Well, now you can come along, too. You can see it’s a gorgeous summer day. The racetrack is dark, meaning there’s no racing, so folks are about as free as they get during the race meet when horses still need tending.

So, you never know who may drop by.

An Old Friend Departs: RIP, Creator

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If Brad Pitt had been a horse, he would’ve been Creator.

Creator 2006
Not one of his best photos, but I’m at liberty to say that. At the rainy 2006 Old Friends Homecoming, Creator waits for the volunteer leading the tour to dish out a carrot.  Yes, photo by Rhonda Lane

When I met Creator at an early version of the Kentucky Old Friends Farm nearly ten years ago, he cut a dashing figure. A caramel apple chestnut with a teardrop of a star nearly obscured by a lush forelock. He pranced. He tossed his head.

Catnip to horse crazy girls.

At a farm where feeding carrots to former champions is the big tourist draw, Creator was hands-off, yet irresistible, a quintessential “bad boy.”

Four In Hand: Author Hannah Hooton

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GIVING CHASE with author Hannah Hooton
Author Hannah Hooton poses with her novel GIVING CHASE.

Meet Four In Hand “driver” Hannah Hooton, a multiple award-winning author and screenwriter based in UK.

Back in the day, Hannah traveled around Australia, roaming from one racing stable to another as a strapper, taking care of racehorses like what we Americans call a groom.

Afterward, her spirit of adventure and, in her words, “the exuberant imagination of a girl with an empty purse and a passion for a very expensive sport,” eventually became her debut contemporary romance. At Long Odds.

Making the Running cover
Hannah’s latest in her Aspen Valley series, set in National Hunt Racing

That thirst for adventure prompted her to explore indie publishing, which resulted in the Amazon bestselling Aspen Valley contemporary romance series, featuring a National Hunt racing yard in rural England. As of this writing, her fourth book in the series titled Making the Running just released.

Hannah says, the books may be read and enjoyed as stand-alones. We also want to mention these novels are written for an adult audience in the equestrian romance genre.

Author Hannah Hooton on the job as a strapper in Australian racing
Author Hannah Hooton leading Simply Red back in the day when she was a strapper in Australia. Photo courtesy of Hannah Hooton

Without further ado, let’s pass the reins to Hannah, our Four In Hand driver:

We’re back!

By Posted on 10 Comments 2 min read 383 views
Photo by byllwill/iStockphoto
Photo by byllwill/iStockphoto

Thank you for your patience! 🙂 You may have noticed – or not, and that’s okay, too – we’ve been gone since right before the year-end holidays.

What the heck happened?

My access to write and post articles here to The Horsey Set Net crashed. (To you WordPressers, I couldn’t access my dashboard.)

For readers, nothing was amiss. You could search and read the blog and have no idea, except the dateline on that previous post, that something was amiss.

I couldn’t figure out what went wrong. I tried to repair it, but the problem was way over my head, basically deep in the wiring of the blog.

Even worse? I couldn’t reach any of you loyal readers to tell you we were having technical difficulties.

I sent out hails to my various brain trusts; i.e., writer’s groups.

California Chrome’s homecoming to Los Alamitos

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On Sunday night, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome went home to kisses, hugs and carrots at Los Alamitos Race Course.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click on this link by YouTube user Goman Go.

We’ve seen his arrivals at Pimlico and Belmont Park, each with growing excitement and entourage, but the affection for him at Los Alamitos, among his everyday friends, almost doesn’t need a musical soundtrack.


Waste Not, Want Not: Author Edith Maxwell

By Posted on 16 Comments 4 min read 386 views


Edith Maxwell Garden
What do you suppose is the preferred ingredient for compost? Photo courtesy Edith Maxwell

Mystery author Edith Maxwell knows a lot about dirt, especially the stuff that grows plants. What did you think we were talking about? 😉

Granted, Edith – who learned to drive in the parking lot at the Santa Anita Racecourse — may know some “good dirt,” too, but she’s not telling, not here anyway. However, she will be telling us what natural substance helps make the best dirt for growing plants. A big clue? It involves this blog’s favorite animal.

BTW, Edith is willing to give away a copy of her first book in the series A TINE TO LIVE, A TINE TO DIE to a lucky commenter who posts by 12 am EDT, Tuesday, 5/27/14. This contest is restricted to readers in the continental US due to shipping charges. (Ed. note: Alas, the deadline for the giveaway has passed. A big “thank you” to all who commented! However, even without the contest, keep reading to find out how easy compost is to make.)

Now, take it away, Edith!