My entire childhood I asked for the same thing each birthday and each Christmas: a horse. When I was 35 years old my mom gave me a gift certificate for Christmas. The certificate was for horseback riding lessons.
After my first lesson I found heaven. I vividly recall driving home after my first English lesson and catching the scent of the barn on my hands. Those distinct smells of tack, stalls, hay, grain, and a lathered horse who made sure I stayed in the saddle. I was hooked.
I studied radio/television production after high school at Northern Kentucky University. I chased a dream and NKU gave me a solid platform for success. After paying my dues and spending time in the production trenches at Channel 12 WKRC, Keeneland, Riverdowns, Turfway, Cinergy/Great American Ballpark, Paul Brown Stadium, and a few small boutique cable network events I finally proved myself and found myself at the top of my game.
For the last 19 years I have worked exclusively for ESPN. I was one of the few female hand-held camera operators in the country that ESPN chose to travel for MLB, NFL, NBA and NCAA broadcasts. I was doing what I set out to do: support myself by getting as close to live sports as possible (on the sidelines, on the floor, on the field, in the dugout, behind the scenes). Hard work and sacrifice had finally paid off, just like my family told me it would.
My production career allowed me a lot of flexibility. I would be on the road 3-4 days a week, so every free minute I had outside of work I spent at the boarding facility. I started helping, meeting horses and their owners, asking questions and learning everything I could. I’m so thankful my ESPN career allowed me the flexibility to spend so much time at the barn.
I never thought I would be where I am today (abandoning any common sense, steady income, and sense of normalcy) until 2020.
COVID had shut down sports.
I was able to spend more time at the barn with my best friend Lucy Lu (my donkey-eared Appaloosa).
February 2021 my heart shattered. My mom passed away suddenly. She passed too soon. My mom was young. My mom was my foundation. My mom is the reason KCA has been reborn. I literally ran away from home. Left behind my house, six figure/year career without looking back and decided to do what I love.
A Pendleton County native, I was brought up with values that I do my best to live each day: work hard, be honest and be kind. The lessons I learned are timeless and still ring true: life is never fair; most people are good so give them the benefit of the doubt, never quit, it’s ok to fail and if you do your best things are more likely to work themselves out.
I felt like even though I came from a small town, I didn’t want to stay in a small town. I was taught I could be whatever I wanted to be. ESPN gave me the opportunity to travel the world, and now I feel like I’ve come home.
I’m betting all the marbles on KCA. Is that crazy? Yep, it sure is.
It’s not a business for me. KCA is my home.