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Interviews

Interview with Shane Sellers, Co-Writer

Interviewed by Sheryl Maloney on December 7, 2007

Sheryl:            What made you want to write a book?

Shane:            The thing that made me want to write it first of all is because there was nothing that I could do about what happened to my racing career when I had my license taken away after the Churchill Downs incident. I tried to get an answer from the game, from the riders, from the Guild, but I still hadn’t gotten one.

I had already started a fight for a change in weights when I was a jockey and I was stuck. I want to continue the fight that I fought for weights. Since I did the HBO Special two kids have died. The only way for me to bring integrity is to keep fighting and hope that these riders will eventually come my way. I just want them to tell the truth. Kids are dying and that’s the main reason. It’s beyond what happened to me. I’m going to continue the fight I fought and that I started, not for the riders that ride today, but for the riders of tomorrow. My voice needs to be heard for me to make those changes happen and this book is the best way for people to understand my passion.

 

Sheryl:            What has the book writing process been like for you?

Shane:            In a way this book has been therapeutic, but in a way it’s been the toughest part of my life that I’ve been through. It’s bringing up things from my childhood to paint this picture for people to understand – not to feel sorry for – the person I am. Writing this book is going to prove that I was not controversial; I was right. There was nothing wrong with me. There was something drastically wrong with the game of horse racing.

 

Sheryl:            What has it been like working with Tricia Psarreas?

Shane:            When I first met her, I thought she had to be a phony. She just couldn’t be that friendly, that nice, that compassionate. But I found out that I was totally wrong. Trish really is that friendly, that nice, and that compassionate. She’s the first and only one who has believed in my cause and who has believed in me. Now she has become my friend and she is like a sister to me. She is my only light at the end of this tunnel and she makes me feel that everything really will be alright. If it hadn’t been for her, I would have given up a long time ago. She’s given me the opportunity to tell my fans and the world what happened to me and that means more to me than anything.

 

Sheryl:            Who are some of your favorite authors?

Shane:            I’ve honestly never read a book in my life, so I can say without a doubt that Trish Psarreas is my favorite author.

 

Sheryl:            Are there any people who served as a great inspiration in your life?

Shane:            There are a lot of people; too many to name. I’ve been inspired by people like Frankie Brothers, Steve Asmussen, Jerry Bailey, Wayne Catalano, Gary LaSala, Gary Boulanger, Jean Cruguet, Mr. B.B. Hebert, Calvin Borel, my brothers and sister, my mom, and of course, my wife Kelli and our three beautiful children.

 

Sheryl:            What are your goals for when this book comes out?

Shane:            My first goal is to prove to the industry that a weight change is long overdue and that we need to bring integrity back to the industry. That needs to start with the riders. Riders are knowingly cheating the scales and watching other kids die. If they step forward, they can make a real difference. I want to bring something to jockeys like every other sport has; a governing body or some institution that protects them. Even if the weights aren’t changed, I want to know that these kids are protected and that no more people will die for the chance to ride.

I’d also like to be able to help other people who aren’t in horse racing. That’s why a portion of the proceeds from this book are going to go to charity. A lot of people in this world need help and I want to help as much as I can.

 

Sheryl:            Final question: When you’re not busy trying to help others, what do you like to do for fun?

Shane:            I love fishing and hunting, spending time with my family. One day I hope I’ll be able to fish, hunt, and golf again without feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I think this book is going to help me do that, so I just might get my fishing rod ready from now.

LATEST ADDITIONS

Congratulations, Calvin!
(02 May 2010)
Jockeys: Bringing Hope Back into the Game
(06 Feb 2009)
Freedom's Rein Specials
(05 Dec 2008)
Book Signing Update
(12 Jul 2008)
A Fundraiser and a Charity Announcement
(31 May 2008)

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