Going from an inexperienced UCLA freshman who learned riding at Galway Downs in Temecula to becoming 1988â²s highest paid apprentice rider in Southern California, from the front pages of the Seattle Times newspaper as winner of the stateâs biggest Stakes race to the winnerâs circle in Louisiana, James flourished in the business of racing. But his career was plagued by injuries, one of which was captured on film in the moving documentary âCup of Courageâ.
When, after so many injuries, his racing days ended, he decided to stay on helping trainers in the arena he knew and lovedâ¦ teaching horses how to run. Always curious about how things worked and looked, James began taking used racehorse shoes from the farriersâ discards wondering how they would look if they could be cleaned and polished. About the same time heâd developed an interest in woodworking, especially staining wood.
Eventually, James wondered if the used shoes could be made into something useful and meaningful for the barns at the racetrack. After experimenting, he hit upon the idea of making bridle racks and blinker holders. Barn and trainer signs soon followed. Then he expanded his work into commemorative plaques for owners using their own horseâs shoes plated in a variety of finishes including chrome and 24k gold.
Today, these unique custom pieces include key holders, coat and hat racks, and riderâs memorabilia in addition to signs, bridle racks and equipment holders. Just about anything you want memorialized can be custom made for you on the beautifully hand stained or painted wood of your choice.
James's Riding Style
Other » Racing