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Congratulations, Calvin!

(Posted by Tricia at May 02 2010 01:05 am)

For the second year in a row, we at Freedom’s Rein watched in astonishment as Calvin Borel took on the Kentucky Derby and reminded us why he’s so often called Calvin Bo-Rail. Personally, I can’t think of another jockey I would rather see win the first Triple Crown race of the year.

Congratulations, Calvin, and I truly hope you’ll be the one to break the Triple Crown curse after all these years!  :)

Jockeys: Bringing Hope Back into the Game

(Posted by Tricia at Feb 06 2009 10:02 pm)

Tonight I was ecstatic to watch the first hour of the new Animal Planet TV show Jockeys and I’m glad to see that my anticipation was well warranted. These first two episodes show a lot of promise and I look forward to watching the behind the scenes stories unfold as the series progresses.

But while I applaud Jockeys for bringing so many issues to light, I have one question: What took so long?

Almost a year has passed since the release of Freedom’s Rein, and though the book caught many people’s attention, many of the core issues went unnoticed. Freedom’s Rein may be told through one former jockey’s eyes, but it is the same story jockeys around the world face. Physical peril. Familial hardships. Deadly injuries. Monetary struggles. It’s all there. And until it was highlighted on television, it was mostly kept in the shadows.

I know that Shane Sellers’ story is a controversial one, but I wish people would look beyond his personal tale to see the many stories contained within. Enjoy the love story of Shane and Kelli. Bask in the glory of Shane winning over 4,000 races. Take pride in the many changes Shane made in the industry. But don’t forget to look at the industry itself.

Don’t forget that for every story in the book, there are 1,000 similar ones that happened to Shane or someone else. Every jockey from Shane Sellers to Joe Talamo to Mike Smith has worried that a big race will be his last. Every jockey has watched in terror as a horse plummeted to its doom and brought a jockey down with it. Every jockey has heaved, sweated, or turned a blind eye as his comrades have done whatever necessary to shed off those extra pounds. Every jockey has seen a lot, heard a lot, and done a lot. Now let’s hope that the public will finally start to read, hear, or see those stories so the many efforts to bring integrity back to the industry will not be in vain.

As I once penned, “Without truth there can be no freedom.” Now let’s remember that the truth does little good if it goes unheard.

 

Freedom's Rein Specials

(Posted by Tricia at Dec 05 2008 09:12 pm)

I know it’s been a long time since my last post, but things have been super busy! With a new book on its way and the holidays rapidly approaching, I’ve seriously slacked with my blogging. I’m sorry for the long absence and I hope this news will make up for my disappearance!

This holiday season, we at Freedom’s Rein are having a big time sale. Be sure to check out the merchandise page to see all we have to offer!

Happy Holidays, everyone, and thanks for your continued support!

- Trish  :)

Book Signing Update

(Posted by Tricia at Jul 12 2008 06:07 pm)

It’s been a long time since I last wrote, but I promise I haven’t been lazy. Shane and I have just been super busy with planning upcoming events!  :)

The summer book tour is really kicking off now, so please check out our Book Signings page to see if we may be coming to your area. And if you want us to come to your area but we’re not currently scheduled, drop us a line! You never know, we may be able to schedule a signing in your area, too!

Happy Saturday, everyone, and I hope we get to meet some of you at our upcoming appearances!

Trish  :)

A Fundraiser and a Charity Announcement

(Posted by Tricia at May 31 2008 06:05 pm)

It’s been a while since I last wrote, but things have been super busy around here. Shane and I are preparing for our next two booksignings which you can read about on the Book Signing page. We hope to see some of you there!  :)


Aside from that, I’m writing in with a request and an announcement. I have started a rather unique fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and I am writing to ask you for your help. Please visit this website and forward this message to as many people as you can.


To accompany the fundraiser, I will be donating ten percent of my own profits from all Freedom’s Rein sales that come in from now until September 1. I hope that between direct donations and my matching donations, I will more than exceed my fundraising goals.

 

Thank you for your help, everyone, and please spread the word!


A Special Charity Announcement

(Posted by Tricia at May 08 2008 02:05 am)

As many of you may know, Shane was involved with the Down Syndrome of Louisville Annual Golf Tournament and Auction for many years. What you may not know is that I also spent many years working with mentally and physically disabled adults and children. Furthermore, our public relations coordinator and my dear friend Sheryl Maloney worked with special needs children for nearly a decade. Everyone involved in Freedom’s Rein has specific charities they want to help, but this is one that we all agree on wholeheartedly.

Down Syndrome of Louisville is a 31-year-old non-profit organization run by a kind woman named Diana Merzweiler. This charity offers a great deal of services for those who have Down Syndrome and strives to make a true difference in these people’s lives.

From now until Monday, June 23, 2008 -- the day of the 16th Annual Golf Tournament and Auction -- we will be donating five percent of all proceeds to Down Syndrome of Louisville. All of us are very excited to attend the event, do a book signing while we are there, and donate as much money as we can to this fantastic cause.

So please spread the word and help us support a wonderful charity that is the epitome of what an organization should be!

(Note: If you want to donate directly to Down Syndrome of Louisville, please click here.)

Book Sale Extended

(Posted by Tricia at May 05 2008 10:05 am)

In light of recent events and the tragic death of Eight Belles, Shane and I have decided to extend the sales price on books for an additional eight days.

Far too many horses have died during ’the ride of their lives’ and it is time to make sure that horses are better cared for. There should be no more stories of Barbaro, or Eight Belles, or any of the other horses who have died in recent years. Now is the time to help make a difference. Now is the time to bring about change.

We are both deeply saddened by the loss of this great filly and we sincerely hope that now people will hear our message and try to ensure that such a catastrophe does not happen again.

Call for Action

(Posted by Tricia at May 04 2008 10:05 am)

A few days ago I got into a heated debate with an anonymous poster on my friend John’s blog. After this poster spent days chastising me about what Shane and I are trying to accomplish with Freedom’s Rein, I wondered, “How many more catastrophes have to happen for people to finally listen?”

When I woke up yesterday, I was elated by the fact that people were finally going to hear about the underbelly of horse racing with Shane’s appearance on The TODAY Show. Unfortunately, Shane’s spot was bumped because of the horrible storms sweeping the country. Though we understood why his appearance would have to be postponed, we were both more than a little disheartened that the Kentucky Derby would go on without the nation hearing about the flip side of horse racing first.

As it turned out, the country did not need to hear about the aspects of horse racing that nobody wants to talk about. With the tragic demise of Eight Belles, the only filly to run in the Derby in the past decade, the country got to see one of these issues firsthand.

After running in second, Eight Belles collapsed on the track and had to be euthanized on the spot. Her front ankles were so badly broken that the vets could not even get her to stand up to put a splint on her. With hundreds of thousands of people watching, this poor horse was put to death.

So my question is how many more have to die for our viewing pleasure? Whether we are talking about horses or jockeys, the smell of death permeates the air in the world of horse racing. Shane and I address this issue repeatedly in Freedom’s Rein. From the cruel treatment of the horse Cape Town to the tragic deaths of Chris Herrell and Jose Emmanuel Sanchez, this book demonstrates exactly what is wrong in the industry.

In releasing Freedom’s Rein, Shane and I hoped that these demonstrations would call people to action; that they would save lives. We were eager for people to see The TODAY Show so they may feel inclined to fight with us. Instead, people got to learn about what kind of hats to wear to the Derby and the lineage of a horse that would die mere hours later.

It appears that we live in a society where fashion outweighs injustice and papers mean more than a horse’s life. Nobody wants to hear about the negatives; they just want to zone out and pretend that everything is just fine.

Well, I’m here to tell you that things are not fine and that something needs to be done. Whether you are a fan of horse racing, animals, or humanity, I implore you to take up our cause and help make a difference.

Right now there is little time to waste. Please just take my advice and read the book. If you can read such a story and not feel compelled to take action, this blog post is probably not for you. However, if you want to stop these injustices, please join in the fight. Contact your local congressmen. Write to your local senators. Email your local news center. Please, just do something that will show the world that we will not idly sit by while death constantly looms over the horizon. Shane and I cannot take on this fight alone and this is certainly something worth fighting for.

Derby Weekend Special and News

(Posted by Tricia at May 01 2008 10:05 pm)

The day everyone has been waiting for is almost here and we at Freedom’s Rein couldn’t be happier. The Kentucky Derby is an exciting event in itself, but do you know what’s even more exciting?

The fact that Shane is going to be on The TODAY Show on Saturday morning!!!

As I type this, Shane is preparing for his interview with Lester Holt that will air between 7:00 and 8:30 EST on Saturday morning. If that isn’t a great way to start off Derby Day, then I don’t know what is!

Well, actually, that’s not completely true.

Another great way to bring in the Derby spirit is to take advantage of our extremely limited time offer for Derby weekend. From Friday at 12:01 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, Shane and I are offering a fabulous special to make Derby weekend even more special.

Do you want to hear our logic? Good!

Since Shane rode in 14 consecutive Kentucky Derbies and this Derby Day is special to both of us, we’re counting 14 as our lucky number. That means that you get to save 14 percent off anything you buy from our site and you only have to pay $1.40 for shipping.

Don’t forget, this is a very, very limited time offer, so I hope you enjoy it while it lasts!

Happy Derby Weekend, everyone!

Everyone Loves a Contest!

(Posted by Tricia at Apr 23 2008 09:04 pm)

Do you have a golden ticket?

Well, probably not. Sadly, Shane and I didn’t think to include any golden tickets in the books, but we did get a bit silly and decide to start a contest.

In the midst of signing thousands of books, our brains turned to mush and we got caught up in just plain silliness. As a result, some of the autographed copies of Freedom’s Rein have a saying in them that just might make you a winner.

If you ordered (or plan to order) an autographed copy of Freedom’s Rein, keep your eye out for an autograph that reads:

1.  "My hand hurts!"

2.  "All you need is love! La la la la la la la!"

3.  "What came first? The jockey or the eating disorder?"

4.  "Eat, drink, and be merry!"

5.  "Thanks for helping a brother out!"

And just so we don’t sound too Willy Wonka like, there’s a sixth book out there signed by yours truly that reads, "All my love."

So do you have all my love? Do you feel merry? Did you help a brother out? Do you know which came first? Are you the one responsible for Shane’s hand hurting? If so, you need to write to me so you can claim your prize!

If you indeed have one of those six special autographs, just write to me at Trish@FreedomsRein.com so I can hook you up with your super secret prizes. Remember, these prizes are limited edition items and they’re also limited in general because there are only six of them. 

Good luck to all our unknowing contenders!!!

A Perfect Kick Off!

(Posted by Tricia at Apr 21 2008 08:04 pm)

Here’s a confession for you: As excited as I was to kick off our book signing tour, I was more than a little terrified. Something about speaking to over 100 high school kids, reading in front of God knows how many adults, and meeting hundreds of people I’ve never met before terrified me. I was even scared to meet Shane’s family, despite the fact that I’ve spoken to them on the phone many times.

But now that the weekend is over, I’m thrilled to report that there was nothing to be scared of.

The people in Erath, Louisiana greeted me with more courtesy and kindness than I would ever expect of anyone. Our lectures at the high school were fantastic and now I’m pumped to speak to as many students as possible. Our book signing was unbelievable and I’m still amazed by how wonderful everyone was. And Shane’s family was just as I expected them to be based on our phone conversations – they were perfect.

After Shane, Sheryl, and I visited Erath High (Go Bobcats!) and did the book signing at the Erath Library, we went back to Shane’s house for my first crawfish boil. Those crawfish may look a little like a crossbreed between lobsters and bugs, but they’re pretty darn tasty. Add in the humor, kindness, and friendliness of Shane’s family and friends, and I felt right at home.

As perfect as everything – and everybody – was, I also learned a few lessons that I’d like to share for those who may be faced with similar situations.

1.  Never, ever, under any circumstance should you touch your eye after you’ve eaten crawfish unless you wash your hands at least five times. The burn will stay for days!

2.  If you’re waiting for a ride in a friendly area, a security guard may announce your plight over the loudspeaker to save everyone a lot of time.

3.  On the off chance that you’re having 500 books delivered and you need to find the driver, a Walmart parking lot makes a perfect transfer point.

4.  When someone in the South invites you over for coffee, it’s not like people in the North who ask you to bring the coffee with you. (Thanks Mrs. Toups!)

5.  If you can’t figure out the meaning of cold humidity, just bring along a jacket. It will be one more thing to carry on the plane, but it’s much better to bring home a jacket than a cold!

There endeth my lessons.  J

Thanks so much to everyone who showed up and I can’t wait to meet the rest of you as our book signing tour continues!

The Day We've All Been Waiting For!

(Posted by Tricia at Apr 14 2008 11:04 pm)

Hi everyone,

I’m just popping in to shout out an enthusiastic, "Yay! April 15 is finally here!" While I’m not so excited that my taxes are due, I am super excited that Freedom’s Rein is finally available and that now changes can really be made.

On behalf of Shane and myself, thank you all for your continuous support and kind words. Your kindness has truly inspired us and we hope that with this release we can give back to the world the way you all gave to us.

For everyone who pre-ordered a book through the Official Freedom's Rein Shop, your copies are in the mail. And guess what -- they come with a free surprise. Shane and I love surprises (the good kinds), so we hope you’ll love them as much as we do!

Thanks again, everyone, and now it’s time to let the good times roll!

Two Days Left!

(Posted by Tricia at Apr 13 2008 03:04 pm)

I’ve known that the release date is quickly approaching, but after looking at my calendar and seeing that it’s already April 13, I can hardly contain myself. There’s only two days to go until Freedom’s Rein is officially released and I can’t wait!

Shane came here for a few days this week so we could autograph books and we’re ready to get this party started. While he was here, we visited with the mayor and a senator, solidified more book signing locations, and signed enough autographs to make my hand still hurt three days later. (Note: Shane is an autograph signing machine and it’s hard to keep up with a pro!)

So for anyone who wants to put those autographs (and the inevitable carpal tunnel that will come with them) to good use, don’t forget that there’s only two more days to get your own copy of Freedom’s Rein with a ten percent discount and free standard shipping. Just place your order by April 14 at 11:59 p.m. EST and this limited time offer will be all yours!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone, and thanks for your support!

Limited Time Offer

(Posted by Tricia at Mar 30 2008 04:03 pm)

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that Shane and I will be meeting soon to sit down and autograph a bunch of books together. We’re going to make sure we have plenty of autographed copies to go around, but I wanted to extend a limited time offer to get a nice, personalized autograph.

So if you’ve already ordered from the official website or you order by April 7, please send me a message or email me at Trish@FreedomsRein.com with any information you want included in your autographed copy. Whether you want your book addressed to Dan or Big Boy, just let me know and we’ll be sure to give you what you’re looking for.

Also, don’t forget that the release date is rapidly approaching, which means the pre-order discount will end soon. As long as you place your order by April 14, you will get a ten percent discount and free standard shipping.

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming now. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

What's with the Boa?

(Posted by Tricia at Mar 25 2008 10:03 pm)

If you’ve looked around at our photo albums on MySpace or poked around the official Freedom’s Rein site, you’ve probably noticed the picture of Shane and me in a boa. Some people have questioned the reason for the boa. They want to know why we’re wearing it and why on earth we would choose that as our official author photo. For anyone who is wondering, the answer is simple: why not?

Maybe we’re wearing the boa because we wanted to add a splash of color to our picture.

Perhaps we’re wearing it because we decided to play around with some props and there were only so many pictures we could take with the handcuffs.

Or maybe -- just maybe -- the boa has us wrapped in symbolism. The soft and vibrant feathers of the boa could represent Shane’s mental change from feeling shackled down by rough, leather reins to the feeling of being mentally caressed by the light, comfortable support of a boa. Now that his story is off his chest, he may feel as free as a bird rather than confined like a jail bird.

So what’s the real reason behind the boa? I’m not telling. But hopefully I’ve at least given you something to think about.

Who NOT to Contact

(Posted by Tricia at Mar 21 2008 07:03 pm)

Hi everyone,

I hope you're all doing well and that those who are celebrating Easter this weekend have a great one.  :)

I'm just dropping a quick note to say that anybody who needs to contact Shane or I regarding book signings, fan inquiries, promotions, sales, or any other issue should only write to the email addresses listed on the official Freedom's Rein contact page. Shane, Freedom's Rein, and I are not being represented by any person, group, source, or entity, so any and all inquiries should be directed to us through the official website. 

Thanks for listening, everyone, and have a great weekend!  :)

We're Going to Win

(Posted by Tricia at Mar 20 2008 05:03 am)

Over the past months, many people have had their doubts as to how much Shane and I can actually accomplish with this book. Can we gather interest? Sure. Can we entertain people? Most definitely. But can we actually make a difference?

*Cue crickets here*

For a while, I had my doubts about that last question, too. I hoped we could make a positive difference. I just wasn’t sure about how much two people can do to change an industry that has so many roots in tradition. Then at 5:30 in the morning, I sat up in bed with a realization:

We can and will make a difference -- and a good one, at that.

Shane has always been a fighter and he nearly always gets everything he wants. He wanted the public to know about jockey eating disorders. Check. He wanted riders to be allowed to wear product endorsements. Check. He wanted to live in a world where jockeys are covered by more than $100,000 for on-track accidents. Check.

Though the differences I’ve made have not been nearly as widespread as the ones Shane has made, I’ve put up a good amount of fights and won, too. Sure, some of those fights were tiny like my quest to make an evil English professor change my grade from a C+ to an A (which, by the way, I provided her with enough evidenciary support to make her do so), or to remove over 1,000 tons of garbage from a local river, but they are still changes. Why, just yesterday I finally got a refund from a horrible online company that typically takes people’s money and runs with it. That’s another story in itself, but the point is that my perseverance paid off and I got what I aimed for in the end.

Now Shane and I want to take things one step further and go for the BIG change. There’s no checkmark for that change yet, but I suspect there will be very soon.

So for anybody that doubts what Freedom’s Rein can do for the industry, let me assure you that it can do a lot. After all, any thought that wakes me at 5:30 in the morning while I have the flu must have some sort of significance, right?

One Book at a Time

(Posted by Tricia at Mar 15 2008 01:03 pm)

If you’ve seen any Freedom’s Rein banners or explored the Official Freedom’s Rein Merchandise Shop, you may be wondering what the phrase "one book at a time" is all about. That’s a great question, so please allow me to explain.

In the time I’ve spent working with Shane, I’ve been touched by his unfaltering will to help others. Not only does he want this book to benefit all those who read it, but he wants to donate some proceeds from each sale to various charities that support the book’s overall causes.

I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in my time and I’ve never encountered anybody with such a drive to help others. In the past, I volunteered my time to help other people, but now I want to take things one step further. Along with donating my time, I want to donate my money.

So "one book at a time" is my pledge to all of you that from this day forth, any book that features my name on the cover will help other people. I vow to donate a portion of the proceeds of any book I contribute to, write, or edit to at least one worthwhile organization.

I may not be able to save the world, but I know I can make a difference. And that is exactly what I plan to do ... One book at a time.

LATEST ADDITIONS

Congratulations, Calvin!
(02 May 2010)
Jockeys: Bringing Hope Back into the Game
(06 Feb 2009)
Freedom's Rein Specials
(05 Dec 2008)
Book Signing Update
(12 Jul 2008)
A Fundraiser and a Charity Announcement
(31 May 2008)

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Shane and Pulpit Glassware (Set of 4)

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