Welcome Back

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 2, 2009 in General Discussion | 1 Comment >>

Getting back in the saddle can be pretty tough. Especially, if you have been off for 4 1/2 years.

Riding in his first race back had bittersweet feelings. He has been there before, at least 4,000 times before. So, for Shane Sellers getting back in the irons in his native Louisiana, it was a homecoming of sorts.

In early July, he was at Evangeline Downs, a place he was used to riding long ago. Or, at least the old EVD in his backyard. It was on this day, that he had the mount for a friend of his on the track who has turned to training. He was given a leg up by Mark Guidry. Between these guys, they have forgotten more about riding than most young guys will know in a lifetime.

Ida Ball came back galloping nicely after the $25,000 race. There was only one stop before going to the barn, and that was in the winner’s circle. “He was huffing and puffing,” said Guidry…. He had tears in his eyes, as he was coming back home. Home in Louisiana, and home in the winner’s circle.

He has an impressive resume in the saddle. The horses he has ridden to victory are some of the best in the game. It was never his skills that gave him problems, it was his people skills. He had a way of coming across harshly, and never minced words. This was a habit that can lead to getting thrown off of live mounts.

In his time, he has pushed for higher weights for riders, and come to the forefront of the aide of disabled riders. He is tough, but has a heart.  I think this second time around will be different. He has overcome demons, and has come out the other side to tell the tale. He is in a different place. He is a new man.

No matter how long his career lasts, very few have come back in this game. You have to be at the top of your game, and the shortest breaks away can hinder your abilities. Either way, I am glad to see him in the saddle. Good to see him where he wants, and needs to be.