Lucky Break

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ashley Carter, an average female jockey, who's life is changed forever....

Submitted: March 27, 2011

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Submitted: March 27, 2011

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Lucky Break
Ashley Carter was galloping around a muddy track through the early morning fog.The cold air made her eyes water and lungs sting, and pain seared through her arms and legs. Lucky’s mane was whipping her cheeks, leaving red marks. Her heart started pounding quickly, and a thought occurred to her:What if it happens to me again? Her mind drifted back to the day her life was changed forever.
It was a rainy Monday morning at Trescott racetrack. Ashley was warming up her horse, Luck of Dew, before the Big Trescott Classic. Lucky was cruising at full speed down the track. Ashley could feel his muscles tightening and his impulsion building. She knew Lucky was ready. Ready to bring his A-Game. Lucky swished his tail with pride and stretched his long legs to cover the turf. He could feel the warmth of the dirt under his hooves, even though the track was wet and muddy. This is where he belonged. He gave out a high whinny before Ashley turned him back to the starting gate. The two-minute warning bell rang, signaling the race was about to begin. Quickly Lucky's trainer walked over to Ashley.
“Just do what we've been practicing. Lucky does best when you keep him in until the final stretch, and then let him out.” Ashley gave him a quick nod and he winked at her. " You'll do great and so wil this guy." He then disappeared into the stands. Lucky was led into the starting gate with minutes to spare. Ashley inhaled a deep breath just as the bell rang.
Lucky lunged forward with his powerful legs jerking Ashley forward to take a big lead. Ashley got back on track and held him back, gripping the reins tighter around her fingers.
“Easy boy. Don’t burn out.”
Lucky responded to her and slowed his stride. The track was slick under his hooves, but he kept on going strong. Ashley looked to her left making sure she was clear on the rail. As she did so, she felt her left foot come out of the stirrup iron. Struggling to grab the reins, she could feel Lucky beginning to fall. She felt him trying to regain his footing, and tried to help by using her legs to urge him forward. Ashley’s right foot slipped out of the right stirrup iron, and Lucky was falling behind. Lucky did everything he could to keep up with the others and didn’t give in. He kept his stride going as much as possible. Ashley choked up on the reins so she could keep her balance. Mud flew into her face as Lucky galloped around the track trying to reach the other horses and riders.
“C’mon Lucky.” Ashley whispered.
Seconds later Lucky took his last stride with all the energy that was left in him before tumbling to the ground bringing Ashley down with him. The fans rose to their feet in shock to see a motionless horse and rider lying in pain on the racetrack. Ashley’s whole body started to swell up and Lucky whinnied with agony.
The racetrack ambulance came in a rush and lifted Lucky on a tarp before securing him in the back of the ambulance. As Ashley watched her beloved friend leave her, blackness overcame her. She fell unconscious on the racetrack.
Eight weeks later in the hospital, Ashley saw the headline in The Herald:
Lucky Rider Suffers Unlucky Fall. The newspaper was dated the day of the race when she had fallen. Scanning the article, she noticed comments people had said about her.
-Females just aren’t as strong as males; therefore have a hard time handling strong Thoroughbreds.
-Females are more bound to fall because they don’t have the skill to race. All they think about is winning, not about strategy.
Ashley rolled her eyes at the comments and huffed. Seconds later Lucky's trainer walked into her room with a concerned expression. Ashley met his gaze.
"Is he ok? I'm so sorry! I never meant for this to happen."
He took a slow deep breath. "He is fine, just very injured but will survive. You didn't do anything."
"Yes I did! If I hadn't raced him, we wouldn't be in this mess. God what have I done? "
"You weren't the one that decided to race him, I was. Besides it was the track that caused you guys the fall. It was too wet and muddy . I should've known better."
Ashley took in a deep sigh. " I guess, but these comments don't help much either." She handed the newspaper to him. " They are wrong about female jockeys." He was silent for a minute or two while studying the article. " I just don't get why people have to make assumptions about us, just because of this one race. We're just as good." He nodded his head in agreement.
"You certainly are. No matter what anyone says you and I both know how talented you are. That is the main reason I chose you to ride my horse. You are very gifted and have star potential." Ashley smiled at him.
" Really?"
" Yes really. Also, you are not only a great jockey, but you also develop a special connection with whatever horse you're riding, in this case Lucky. I could tell he really enjoyed having you on his back. You could anticipate his very move at any second and understood how to ride him. That is a special quality and will get you far in your career. That is what I liked most about you." She blushed ever so slightly.
"Thanks. I'm glad you had all this faith in me, and I never would've let you down."
"I know." They exchanged smiles and he left.
Ashley was in deep thought. 'He’s right. I have a special talent. These comments don’t mean a thing to me. I will never ever stop riding. I live to ride!!!'
“Ashley, Ashley!” a voice called to her. Slowing Lucky down and coming back to Earth, Ashley looked up to see her mom and Lucky's trainer sitting on the rail. She trotted Lucky over to them.
“Hey mom,”she said.
“Hi sweetie. You and Lucky look amazing together. All the rehabilitation you guys did together sure paid off.”
“Thanks. Yeah, it took a lot of time and effort but look at us now. I’m hoping we can race again soon.” Ashley said glancing at Lucky's trainer.
“Well Ashely, you and Lucky have come a long way since the accident...," he started. “What about entering the Pine Hill Derby this weekend?”
Anxiety crept up Ashley’s chest to her heart.
“This weekend? B-but do you think we're ready? Lucky and I are still healing.”
“Ashley, you and Lucky are inseparable. I know if you try hard and put your heart to it, both of you can win. You are a team now and always will be!”
Ashley glanced at her mom and stroked Lucky’s neck.
“You want to race boy?” she asked, leaning down to his ear. He bobbed his head, and Ashley laughed.
“Well then we are so in. Pine Hill Derby here we come!!”
THE END


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