Light shines through a tree line as horses are walked in the early morning Oct. 2 at Mount Pleasant Meadows.
Chicago resident Ruth Scherer puts on her chaps before her morning routine of galloping horses Oct. 2 at Mount Pleasant Meadows.
Ruth Scherer takes a break between galloping horses Oct. 2 at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Scherer spends every Tuesday-Friday morning galloping and exercising more than a dozen horses to prepare them for weekend races. "It's almost addicting, I love waking up early and seeing the horses, it's calm and relaxing out here," Scherer said. Once a world-class equestrian show jumper for more than 15 years, Scherer is now pursuing a path as a jockey. "I won awards and rode some of the best show horses in the world," she said. "For me, it was easy, I was a super star at that. Now it's like starting over, it's night and day."
Ruth Scherer gallops with her boyfriend, Tommy Molina Oct. 2 at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Molina grew up in Puerto Rico where he attended a jockey school before moving to the United States to race. The two met while working at Mount Pleasant Meadows 8 years ago.
Ruth Scherer relaxes after a day of galloping with her boyfriend, Tommy Molina Oct. 9 in their small room at the White Wagon Motel in Rosebush. Because of the proximity to the track and to save money, the two stay at the motel during the racing season. "We still have our apartment in Chicago that we pay for," Scherer said. "This is the smallest space that I can handle," she said laughing.
Ruth Scherer, along with other jockeys, waits to "pony", or escort, a horse to the starting gates before the start of a race Oct. 6 at Mount Pleasant Meadows. "It keeps the race horses calm and under control, some of (the horses) can get pretty stupid," Scherer said.
Empty bleachers overlook the track as jockeys compete in a race Oct 6. at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Due to cold weather and hail, most of the small crowd moved indoors. Attendance has also been low since the winnings for most races are less than half than previous years, Scherer said. "The state funding has been cut back this year, we're not really sure what it will be like next year," she said.
Ruth Scherer and Tommy Molina look over statistics for races happening around the country Oct. 6 at the bar in Mount Pleasant Meadows. "I'm not doing too well today," Molina said about his luck betting on other races. "You've just had too many beers," Sherer said, laughing.
Ruth Scherer lets her dog Gracie in after going for a walk Oct. 9 at the White Wagon Motel in Rosebush.
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