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Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens from a trainer's point of view

It is time for big hats and horse racing at this year's Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. 

Mariah's Promise is a 7-year-old thoroughbred horse who came all the way from her pastures in Virginia to compete in the 27th Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. Every year, a million people go to see races like this in the United States featuring horses like Mariah's Promise.

She and her trainer, Michael Harris, are trying to get ready for her big race on Saturday.

"You have to keep them calm and make sure their electrolytes are up and they're eating properly, and they are relaxed.  It is just like any athlete right before a big competition," said Harris.

The trainer says it is also about making sure your horse has the stamina to keep up.

"You have to go with what the horse tells you.  You can't push it too hard.  You can't back off of it too much."

On Friday, he made sure Mariah's Promise was well groomed to prevent over-heating on the racetrack.

Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens is made up of 8 races with horses going all out for a little more than 2 miles, battling through hills and 52-inch jumps.

Trainer Ted Thompson said most of the horses competing have been racing all year, but for some it may be their first race of the season.  He explains training includes steady jogs and gallops to build the horse's strength.

"The competition for them is just part of their nature.  So, they're pretty keyed up when they get down there and they hear the crowds going and all that and that kind of pumps them up even a little bit more," said Thompson.

The trainer spent Friday preparing stalls for horses that traveled from Tennessee and needed their rest.

"You're trying to make things as quiet and stable and as easy as possible for them," said Thompson.

The gate opens at 10:00 am for Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens on Saturday, November 5th. 

If you have not purchased your ticket, you will find a link to the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens ticket information below. 

http://www.steeplechaseatcallaway.org/store/product

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