A highlight from Unsung Heroes Presented by Claiborne Farm - October 2nd 2021
Sport filled with unsung heroes. That don't often find themselves in the spotlight and get the recognition. I once again have the privilege of visiting with yet. Another unsung hero this morning. That is iris. Siegler the longtime handler of so many top horses and so many young horses at the sales across the country. And how about this just in the past week. Iris has been in kentucky in california and now finds herself in maryland cross country indeed and she is with me. Now are true. Unsung hero irish. Good morning good morning excited to hear your story but boy what a what a journey you've been a handler matt. The sales for more than twenty years in racking up the miles for sure for sure. Yeah tell me about how you how you got started on this. Well i was in oklahoma city at the race track Trying to learn the horse's pedigree and then someone asked me. Did i wanna do this sale. So is that cells are in kentucky. So i got my car from oklahoma city. And i went to the sale for and i was working for tailor-made And then there span got started into a of different states different countries a lot of different countries. Talk about some of those. I've been to england to To tattersalls i've then to france i've been to ireland and canada. Explain to people when i say a handler at the horse. Sales are people that don't even know that that job exist. Explain to people exactly what you do. And their breeders that Grade horses and bring them to the sale to be so. So i'm a handler. And i will show their horse potential buyers for sale and they could go onto the kentucky. Derby are triple crown or been around a lot of good forces. Have you ever taken one out and shown it to a potential buyer and in later had it go on to do great things like like the kentucky derby Yes i was around american phero when it was a yearly but it was not sold as a yearly at saratoga but yes there is iris. It's not as simple as just bringing a horse out and walking them around and showing them necessarily. There's actually a skill that's involved with doing your job talk about that. Well you know wanted as long as you are not afraid and you get horse in new at the walker for the clients and ask you to walk and and the way you turn a horse is very important and then the way you stand the horse you. They would like to say off or ankles at one time so they could get the perfect. Do The horse's leg and then when you walk and they're trying to get the see how the horse walk and you know they have a good walk or overstep walk. That's a plus for the horse and the breeding Saturday they look at. So that's maybe the number one it's the breeding. And then the way they walk in there overstep and then the way you stand on as a technique to stand in the horse properly For client. I can imagine iris that over the years. You've had opportunities to do other things. Maybe another offer somebody says. Hey what do you think of this. And you've continued to embrace your job as a handler at the sales. What do you love most about what you do number one i to travel part. I lucky and got to go to a lot of places in the united states and overseas and Number to meet a lot of people around the world. And then of course. I love being outside and i love the animals. You know they get the cheap expensive for us to me. It doesn't matter like treating them all the same. You mentioned the travelling part. And i talked about it as i was introducing you in the past week. You have been in kentucky in california. Now you're in maryland for the face tipton sale. How do you do it. It's hard sometime-. I wake up. Like where am i at and worst the bathroom. Because i went to texas and then i went to oklahoma and then i went to kentucky and then i would to california and now i'm here at maryland Sometime like where. Am i at worse the bathroom and who am i working for so hard because sometime i have a day or just a couple of hours to get to the knicks staff of after this i go to florida and then back to florida. Get echina- car and drive all the way back to saratoga. So did you ever get time for a little alone time or vacation time where you can get away from the sales when i'm not working. I can december. There's like three weeks. I don't work in december. So i go seek family and go rest and vacation time so talking with irish siegler. Who is the unsung hero. Presented by kleber on this saturday morning. She is a true unsung hero. She has been handling horses that the sales for more than twenty years. Irish kate me back to the beginning. Did you come from a racing family. Tell me about your upbringing now. Nobody in my family is around horses. I think i'm the only one that like. An outside. And i had office jobs so like i just can't breathe. It just cannot go in that office on a nice day so Since i like animals. I think it was the opportunity to have my cake and eat it too. Get to be outside and be around animals. So i really enjoy that. Yeah it's pretty special gertz taking you this whole journey. What advice do you give to somebody that maybe wants to do the same thing that you do. It was to be a handler at the sales. What what do you tell them. I tell them if they're not afraid. Come aboard there's a lot of jobs out here. And when i find people like that i like to show them. You know how to show a horse. I have a lot of young people under me. Look up to me for not showing a horse so that makes my job. Bill did that. I am thinking somebody that really wants to do this so I really liked that far especially having young people out and to teach them as well for this job at carry on you know now. I'm the only one that my family that does this alone. Someone tell me like you. That i'm on the radio. I try to call my sisters and stuff and selling what i like all right but really came to the sales. This they work. It is such a critical job because without people like you. Iris doing that job. The consigners can't do it. They can't be out there showing their horses. It takes a village to put a sale on in. You're an integral part of that yes. I'm very lucky. Have you ever have you ever come up to a horse. That was kind of mean. And you said oh. Gosh do i have to deal with this horse. Yes if they have all the time you be a little fray but you know that you're they could kinda tell your phrase so if you could always try to keep a calm for about yourself. It's easier for you. And the and the horse is go. Get it to me. Just go get it. I have people like oh. I'm scared of this source. I'm not taking it and that's okay. I'll take it. And i have soft hands with the horse so that that helps me in the horse out you know. Horse people are traditionally very tough a very hardy group and lord knows irish. You had been through so much in your life personally and professionally. You talked about your journey now. Twenty plus years. I guess it was. Gosh what fifteen years ago or so that you suffer the tragedy of losing your brother and your also injured that very same year.