This will be a short (short for my usual) but exciting post to let y'all feel the excitement that I have right now! Today in my Irish Equine Industries class we presented our media projects. We were to find a news story and write an article, then present all of our research and such to our lecturer and the editor of the Irish Field, a national Equine newspaper here in Ireland. I was excited at the very beginning of the semester when I heard about this project, but unsure what I would write about to appeal to a mainly Thoroughbred Racing readership.
I knew I wanted to do something to tie me being American and loving the American Quarter Horse to the Irish Equine Industry. First stop- the Internet and Google! What did I find? The Irish Quarter Horse Association. I thought originally doing a story on the Association itself and its efforts to grow and all, but then I came across a news blurb about Ollie Galligan, an Irishman who had moved to the States to open his own reining training business and his efforts to qualify for the World Equestrian Games. SWEET! Perfect- my favorite discipline, an Irishman representing his country in a sport that most of the Irish Equine Industry knows nothing about. Sounds like news to me!
I then contacted Ollie who was more than willing to cooperate and contribute and I was "off to the races," actually off to Galway where I wrote the article on the bus ride there :) So right, keeping this short- the article came out great! Had my friend Andrea Caudill from AQHA edit it for me so it was in tip-top shape and turned it in.
After going through pretty much the same story as I did with you to the class today presenting my article and showing them some pretty sweet YouTube videos of the different maneuvers of reining, I turned it over for questions and received nothing but wonderful compliments from both my lecturer and the editor of the Irish Field! Mark, the editor, even admitted to googling my article to make sure it wasn't something already published, because it was that good! He said that it was written so well that he could put it in, as is, for the next issue and that I really should consider becoming a journalist! This was all in front of the class, so I wasn't sure how to take it all really- humbly of course and say the most sincere thank you that I could. Definitely said some more thank you's to the AQHA publications staff as they took this fresh piece of canvas, with apparently some hidden talent, and painted a beautiful journalist out if it!
So I can't wait to pick up a copy this Saturday's Irish Field and hopefully see my article and I'm really excited to drum up some press for Ollie! He's a great guy with a great story who took a huge risk coming to the States and it's paid off well for him.
So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? Truly recognizing my gift of writing and using it to help others. God has blessed me with so much and getting this article published and receiving those wonderful compliments today, makes me excited to see what the future will hold and where else my byline might pop up! Even though the magazines at AQHA had an international readership, this is still way cool to be published in an Irish publication!