by Wendy Ross
What a trip and what a race can pretty much sum up the entire experience. I was so honored to be asked to go over and represent the USA, but once I was there and saw how big harness racing is and what it means to the country, I felt honored that they allowed me to a part of their special race and day. It was great to be able represent the craft of outriding as I feel the job is often under- appreciated and over looked until something happens and lives of horses and drivers are saved.
I have always put a lot of pride in my appearance and my horses look, so it was cool to show how things are done over there. The drivers and trainers are rock stars over there, as harness racing is as big as football and the trainers and drivers are as adored as many of our professional athletes are.
They had an attendance of 30,000 for the Elitlopp and the way they cheer and clap, bang drums is amazing. They treated Floyd and I like one of their own and we lead the parade of the eliminations and the final and to ride in front of 30,000 is a feeling that can never be compared to.
As far as Floyd, he is officially retired and harness racing has lost a true angel on the track. He is a once in a lifetime horse and there will never be another like him. He rocked America in his 19 year career and he won over Sweden, as he was loved be the crowd and respected by the Swedish horseman and women.
I was blessed to call him my partner for 10 years and he has earned his retirement. He will retire with Kelly Ford and her daughter Reagan in New York. Solvalla is already talking about having me back next year and I will probably go, but Floyd is what made it special for me…so as I started it was a great trip, a great race and he I am forever thankful to Solvalla, Sweden, but most all to Floyd…