Whether it is the thunderous applause of thousands of screaming fans, or the thunderous beat of a thousand pounds of Thoroughbred horseflesh crossing the finish line, Toby's adrenaline starts pumping.
"In my business, in entertainment, there is a little window of time that you have at the top. Then, when you're done, everyone heads out to the golf course," said Toby. "Golf doesn't do it for me and apparently it didn't do it for Michael Jordan either because he came back, and then he came back again. Golf wasn't providing the rush he found on the basketball court."
What does do it for Toby is horse racing.
"There is nothing like that rush, that thrill of hearing the announcer call your horse's name first as he crosses the finish line," Toby said, warming to the subject. "And it's not just the racing part for me. Researching the pedigrees is exhilarating. I love everything from finding the right mares, and choosing the right stallions for the mares, to the kick of naming the foals, and weaning them, and watching them turn into yearlings and shipping them off to the track, and starting the two-year-olds and finally seeing them come flying down the track and crossing the finish line. The whole process is such a high."
"For me, said Brad, "the anticipation of riding for a couple of hours just puts my mind in a place so totally away from the music business. I just can't tell you how nice that is, or how important it is. I totally forget about anything that has to do with music, you know? I love what I do, I love making music, but everyone needs a break now and then. Anyone who has or has had a horse probably is very aware of what I'm talking about. Any problems, all problems in your life are gone for those couple of hours. It's impossible almost to really ride a horse and focus on anything else. It adds a ton of balance to my life. I need that balance and nothing else but horses, and this horse in particular, Pal, my pal, delivers it for me. He is my best friend."
"Horses look through your eyes and see your soul. They look right into your heart, and I don't know another animal on Earth that can do that."
"Just being around the different horses, you never know what to expect. They all have different personalities and just to see that is a wonder in itself. So horses really take your mind off any other problem that you have when you are around them. You come in off the road, you've been out on a long tour, you go to the farm and start just walking around the horses, seeing how they are maturing. You just go into a different world and boy, that's a wonderful place."
"There are so many facets where horses can fit into people's lives," said Clay. "Horses can be a great addition for just about anyone. You just have to find the right facet for you. A horse can be one of your best friends, or they can be a help to you in your work, or they can be something pretty just to look at. There's tremendous therapy in just looking at a horse eat. I've gotten a lot out of just sitting and watching them graze. It's amazing. If you look at it, you can intermingle horses with any part of your life. You can use horses for sports, for pleasure riding, for art forms, and to me riding western pleasure and that type of competition is an art."
Excerpts page last updated October 12, 2007