From Endurance to Dressage
I am a little bit … pissed. It's my own fault, but still. Getting ripped off makes me makes mad.
I like horse racing. I feel a little guilty about it since I know so many Thoroughbreds are discarded afterwards, and it would be so much better for the horses if they were started racing at an older age. Even so, I love to watch those horses run.
Betting is also fun, but I am not in it for the money. I like to check out the trainer names, jockeys, and even the horses' names before I place my wager. Making a bet on a horse just because he has an interesting name is probably not the best way to make a few bucks, but Thoroughbred racing appeals to my emotional side.
And then California Chrome showed up on my radar. He's from Kern County, and he started work just a few miles north of Bakersfield. His co-owner was also originally from Bakersfield. And he was cheap, my kind of horse. His dam was purchased for $8,000 and the stud fee was $2,000. Who doesn't love an underdog from your own backyard?
I wanted to place a bet on him. Since I don't know any bookies personally, I had to do an online bet. I'll admit that I didn't do much research. I figured it just worked like making a purchase from Amazon. You give 'em a credit card number, place your bet, and if you win, you get a credit on your card. If you lose, well, have a nice day.
I was going to use Churchhill Downs's betting site, but they wanted things like my social security number, and I just didn't feel comfortable with that option so I went with another betting service. They've been so slippery that I don't even want to share the website's name. Now, I know that I probably clicked an agreement to terms button, but to be honest, the site was quick to accept my deposit without presenting their terms a bit more obviously. Buyer beware, right?
I did make the bet, $75 in total. $25 was mine and $50 was from my husband. I liked the horse, but not that much. And as luck would have it, he won. I wasn't able to watch the race as I was at another Christian Schacht clinic, but I checked on my winnings as soon as I got home.
Eager to collect, I hit the cashier button and started the process of collecting. Here was the first problem - payout fees.
Not only does it cost between $25 - $100 to collect your winnings, but you have to have at least $100 in winnings to even begin to collect. I freaked out. To collect by Western Union or Money Gram, the forms I can use, it was going to cost either $44 or $49 to collect my $250. That's a huge percentage. I told my husband he should probably step out of the room as I was getting on the phone.
I wasn't a total freak on the phone, but I let the "bookie" know what I thought of their business practices. After informing him that I would not be placing any further bets with this site, he let me know that on Fridays, bettors could request a payout while saving up to $50 of the fees. Oh.
However, before I could request a payout, I had to send in a copy of my driver's license which shows my current address as well as photos of the both the front and back of my credit card. WHAT???????
So … they could take my deposit without any verification, and they would have been delighted had I lost, but since I won, they now needed to verify my identity and mailing address. Are you freaking kidding me???????
So far, I have emailed them a photo of my current driver's license and photos of the front and back of my credit card. I now need to print and complete the credit authorization form which gives them permission to charge my credit card. Oh, wait. They've already done that. They won't let me collect my winnings via credit card of course. No, I have to go down to a Western Union or Money Gram office to do that.
I sense an identity theft in my very near future.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: