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The Magic of Monhegan Island


About Terry Conway

For the past fifteen years I’ve been a contributing writer to a variety of national & regional magazines, prominent daily news- papers and web sites.  Currently my work appears in Blood Horse magazine, Long Island Boating World magazine, The Hunt magazine, and PA Equestrian as well as the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Delaware County Times, the Montgomery County Newspapers and Newsworks, the website of WHYY-TV (PBS in Philly).  I am a regular contributor to JustLuxe, JustSayGo,  Gallaghers Travels  and SeeTheSouth -- topflight travel websites - and have contributed travel articles to the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association website.

While many of my articles have spotlighted the world of art and special travel destinations, many folks ask, why horse racing? Well, it was America’s first sport. Andrew Jackson kept a stable when he was in the White House (1829-1837). Only four sportswriters have won the Pulitzer Prize and all of them wrote at one time or another about horseracing. It is all about chasing dreams, the fiercest rivalries, the wildest flukes and larger-than-life personalities, equine and human. The stories are personal, often laced with humor. And, unlike most professional athletes when you show up, the horse’s connections are pleased to talk with you.


Bio RanchCreekRide

I have been a regular contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine since 2003, and I have been a racing correspondent to ESPN.com, where I focus on historical racing stories. My work also appears on America’s Best Racing - the website of the Jockey Club, Equidaily.com, and TheRacingBiz.com. I have covered racing for Pennsylvania Equestrian since 2006; wrote a Sunday column on racing for several years for the Chester County (Pa.) daily newspaper; and write about racing and the horse world for The Hunt magazine in the mid-Atlantic region.

I represented clients for nearly a decade in the areas of marketing and publicity such as the Kahunaville restaurant chain, Baldwin’s Book Barn and Thoroughbred Charities of America. In a former life I was the editor, publisher and owner of Life Sports Magazine.

Smarty XmasCard

My wife Jane, our toller retriever Smarty and I live in the historic neighborhood of Wawaset Park in Wilmington, Del. A century ago it was the state fairgrounds, home to a top-tier standardbred racetrack. Today, the grand old track can be visualized on a stroll along a pair of crescent-shaped roads that together circle the inside of the park. A couple of hitching posts still remain and occasionally, a time-worn horse shoe is dug up. Life sure does turn circles.


Photos of Terry, Riding in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, and Smarty on the homepage - by Jane Conway.



'Rest, In Pieces,' Mortality Through Humor at DTC Print E-mail

November 11, 2014

There are plenty of one-line zingers in the play "Rest, In Pieces." More importantly, there is plenty of soul searching when the unsettling prospect of mortality comes within this family structure.RIP 1

It's a subject most people don't want to face. So, you have to give playwright Steve Bluestein buckets of chutzpah for staring death in the face in the regional premiere of  his  play that opened last Saturday at the Delaware Theater Company and runs through November 23. It's a beguiling 90 minutes, one that is both thoughtfully probing and wickedly funny. A play that on occasions unexpectedly makes the audience gasp.

"Rest, In Pieces" offers a fresh dramatic comedy about a delightfully dysfunctional family, a journey through the life of a Jewish family dealing with loss. A never ending chess game, it is told from three points of view, a mother and father in their early 60's, and their son who is 38. Each of the play's three acts unveils how two of the characters respond when the third exits this earth.

A Peek Behind the Curtains of 'Downton Abbey' at Delaware Antiques Show Print E-mail

November 2014

Not getting enough of your Downton Abbey fix? Then get ready to take advantage of a unique opportunity surrounding the Emmy Award-winning PBS series.Jessica 1

With the fifth season premiere set for January 2015, Downton devotees can get a peek behind the curtains of Britain's most beloved series at the Delaware Antiques Show at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. The 51st edition spotlights author Jessica Fellowes as the honorary chair and keynote speaker on Friday, November 7, at 10 a.m. A book signing will follow the event.

Millions of American viewers have been enthralled by the world of Downton Abbey, the mesmerizing melodrama about the aristocratic Crawley family and their meddling, but loyal servants set on a circa-World War I English country estate.

Jessica Fellowes' books will take you there.

An author, journalist and historian, Fellowes' latest book "A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey" (St. Martin's Press), hit bookstores on October 28.  Her third book to accompany the show, it provides arguably the most comprehensive look at what it was really like to live within the Downton Abbey world 365 days a year. She is the niece of Julian Fellowes, the show's creator and script writer. He writes an enchanting forward to her book.

Marvelous Middleburg: Celebrating the Horse Print E-mail

Delaware County Times
November, 2014

The rural hills begin to lift and drop as the road narrows from four lanes to two and we make our way toward Middleburg, Va.  Forty miles southwest of the nation's capitol, it is set in the lush foothills of the Blue Ridge and Bull Run mountains.MBurg 1

Driving down Highway 50 you feel as if you've been transported into the middle of an English countryside where low stone walls gracefully wind through the rolling terrain that stretches to the horizon. Hay bales dot the landscape with painterly irregularity. Tree-shaded lanes, clapboard farmhouses, and grand manor houses-- all are in the heart of Virginia’s horse and fox-hunt country.

In Middleburg (pop. 750), it's normal to see people in riding britches shopping in the local grocery store. Fauquier and Loudoun Counties have long been ground zero for Virginia’s rich equestrian tradition and serves as a premier training ground and destination for aspiring riders and Olympic champions. Each May the world famous Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase race attracts a crowd in excess of 50,000 at a vast, and impossibly green rolling plain called the Great Meadow. Founded in 1840,  Piedmont Foxhounds in Virginia was the first foxhunting club in the United States.

The hamlet was established in 1787 by Leven Powell, a colonel in the Revolutionary War. Powell named it Middleburg because it was midway along the Ashby Gap trading route (now Highway 50) between the cities of Alexandria, Va., on the Potomac River and Winchester, Va. A young George Washington once surveyed this land. Nearly 200 years later Jackie Kennedy galloped on horseback across its lush hills as she rode with the Orange County Hunt in the 1960s.

A "Joy Ride" for Team Hardest Core Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
October 2014

The Arlington Million is one of our most fabled and rousing turf races. This year the usual pack of top-flight Euros and North American horses jetted in.HardestC 1

But for Team Hardest Core, it was the overland route. They drove all night from Coatesville,  Pa. to Chicago-- 13 hours total-- to get Hardest Core to the million dollar race.  They are all longtime Chester County horse people-- trainer Eddie Graham, barn manager/groom Brianne Slater, exercise rider/champion jump jockey Jody Petty and Keith Cooper, the van driver.

The travel itinerary didn't faze Hardest Core. Piloted by a Parx jockey, Erilus Vaz, the handsome dark bay gelding roared down the stretch to defeat five Group/Grade 1 winners, including the reigning Breeders' Cup Turf champion to capture the 31st edition at the Arlington International Racecourse last August.  With the victory Hardest Core earned an automatic berth with a travel allowance to the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1.

And, that's just a slice of this hard to believe tale. Roll cameras.

The Amazing World of Brian Selznick Print E-mail

October 2014

Brian Selznick is in the business of wonder. He creates books that challenge our notions of how fiction is supposed to work. Some say the trailblazing artist and storyteller has reinvented the genre, combining elements of the picture book, graphic novel, and film into entirely original reading experiences.Selznick 5

Selznick's books introduce an innovative strategy for blending words and images, interweaving narrative and picture sequences. His breakthrough 2007 novel "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," tells two sides of a single story about a little orphan boy, scrappy and clever, living in a Paris train station at the dawn of the 1930s, who forges an unlikely friendship with the pioneering French filmmaker Georges Méliès.

Hugo unfolds like a silent movie, with entire chapters told in mesmerizing pencil drawings. It is a book about magic-- the magic of the silver screen, the magic of family and friendship, the magical thrill of adventure, all set in the City of Light. With its cinematic feel and magical take on historical fiction, the hefty book (526 pages, nearly 300 are picture pages) set the literary world on fire, winning the 2008 Caldecott Medal, and was also a National Book Award finalist. The transformative novel was turned into the  five-time Oscar award-winning film "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," directed by Martin Scorsese.

Fans of Selznick's work can see it on a larger scale in the traveling exhibition "From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick," which runs through January 11, 2015 at the Delaware Art Museum. Hugo might be Selznick's most recognizable work thanks in part to Scorcese's adaptation, but he's also the mind behind 18 other children's books including "The Houdini Box," "Walt Whitman: Words for America," A"Amelia and Eleanor go for a Ride," and "The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins," and Frindle."

Blue Mind: This is Your Brain on Water Print E-mail

Book Review

Long Island Boating World
November, 2014

On an early morning in August I'm sitting on the beach in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. As I look up from the pages of my book, there is nothing between me and the horizon but the Atlantic Ocean. The only sound is the rhythm of the waves pounding against the shore while gulls and sandpipers wheel across a cerulean blue sky. Peaceful and calm, my mind is at ease.BlueMind 5

That morning I was reading "Blue Mind," a new book by Wallace J. Nichols about how an ocean can affect our minds, bodies, and overall health and sense of well-being. Through breakthrough neuroscience (explained in layman's terms) and compelling personal stories, Nichols weaves a captivating tale on the rejuvenating power of water. It makes us healthier and happier, reduces stress and brings us peace.

Several years ago-- Nichols, a marine biologist and conservationist--  started an annual conference that brought together ocean and brain scientists, biologists, surfers and artists to explore the positive effects of water on our health. He called it "Blue Mind." Now Blue Mind  is a book, one that has quickly climbed up the New York Times Best Seller List.    The forward to the book is by Celine Cousteau, Jacque's granddaughter.  The forward to the book is written by Celine Cousteau, Jacque's granddaughter.

Nichols has spent much of his professional life studying sea turtles of the Pacific Ocean and working with fishermen in Baja California to protect the turtles from poachers. Now he's exploring the scientific reasons for why humans have such a deep connection with the deep blue. In its simplest terms, blue mind is about the mildly meditative state our brains enter when exposed to water.

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