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HRN Original Blog:
Past the Grandstand

Racing's Future: Shyain Christopher

Shyain Christopher
Photo: Faith Bough


“Racing’s Future” is a Q&A series in which I aspire to help everyone in the industry. In addition to shining a spotlight on youth who plan to have a career in horse racing, I hope that the opinions expressed in their responses will offer industry leaders insight into what a younger audience believes the sport should improve upon.

Meet Shyain Christopher

While growing up in Fresno, California, 16-year-old Shyain Christpher has always loved horse racing. Her love for horse racing began when she was 10, when she watched Big Brown win the Kentucky Derby. Her love for the sport intensified when she moved to a home near Golden Gate Fields. She has previously held an internship with Aggie Ordonez, daughter of jockey Pete Anderson, and is pursuing more internships in the industry with hopes of someday becoming a racehorse trainer.

How did you become interested in horse racing?

When I watched my first Kentucky Derby in 2008, I was mesmerized by the pageantry. And all the pretty horses, of course.

What do you love about horse racing?

I love that horse racing is a thinking game, a man’s or woman’s game, and that there is no set way. I love that every trainer has their own way of preparing a horse for a race. I love that it challenges my mind and that in horse racing, anything can happen.

Who are some of the people you admire in the industry and why?

I admire Chad Brown, Graham Motion, and Bobby Frankel. They all have or had the career I want. They are also known for developing international turf horses and American turf horses, and I really want that to be my specialty also.

What aspects of horse racing do you wish you knew more about?

I wish I knew more about conformation, because I have a love for auctions and I think conformation is an important tool in helping select good horses. I also wish I had more “horse sense” and knew how to apply my knowledge to real horses.

What racetracks have you been to?

Golden Gate Fields

What is your favorite racetrack? Why?

Del Mar. I love that it is synthetic and I feel synthetic is a really good surface for horses.

Of the racetracks you have not been to, which one do you want to visit most?

Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, Belmont Park, Saratoga, Santa Anita, and Del Mar

What are your favorite moments in your “horse racing life” thus far?

Zenyatta'a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Blind Luck’s win in the Delaware Handicap

Who are your favorite racehorses of your lifetime? Before your lifetime?

Zenyatta, Blind Luck, Beholder, Trinniberg, Gio Ponti, and Game on Dude

If you could change something about the industry, what would you change?

The media's view on the sport

What do you think is the most common misconception about horse racing?

That we don't love our horses and that we are only in it for the money.

How would you convince someone who is not an avid follower of horse racing to begin following the sport?

To meet the horses that run, because when you form a connection with a horse, the race becomes way more exciting.

What career do you plan to pursue in the horse racing industry?

Thoroughbred racehorse trainer.

What is one thing you aspire to personally accomplish someday in the horse racing industry?

To train for owners like Godolphin and/or Juddmonte, to win a Breeders’ Cup race, and, like any other trainer, to win the Kentucky Derby.


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About Mary Cage


Mary Cage, a 19-year-old avid fan of horse racing, has been around horses all her life, having owned, shown, and judged them for as long as she can remember. She began writing her own horse racing blog, Past the Grandstand, in August 2011 and has since been published with the websites of The BloodHorse and The Equine Chronicle, the American Quarter Horse Association's magazine America's Horse, and Southern Racehorse Magazine. Blogging about the sport of horse racing combines her love for horse racing and writing. In her personal horse experience, she has won several Appaloosa National Champion titles in the show ring. 


Mary has always aspired to have a career with horses and since her love for horse racing began, she has dreamed of pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred racing industry, possibly as a writer and marketing/communications specialist. She is currently attending Tarleton State University, where she is studying Agricultural Communications. With this blog, she hopes to show readers horse racing through the eyes of a young fan as she writes about assorted horse racing topics.

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