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
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
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
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.