Kelly Spencer's Blog
Say cheese. Please. Please?!
Published: May 27, 2010 2:34 am ET
Last Comment: February 26, 2014 11:23 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
I've photographed Ross Battin in the winners' circle hundreds of times. For the first few years, the man never looked into my lens. NEVER. I was baffled. And insulted. Pfff. I quickly (and foolishly) determined that Ross Battin was a heartless barbarian.
Sour, and no longer caring what he thought, I cajoled him a bit in the winners' circle one night at Western Fair. Much to my surprise, he not only gave me a nod, but something that closely resembled a full-out smile. My perception softened. A few weeks later at an awards banquet, he ambushed me, plucked me from my seat and dragged me onto the dance floor. Ross Battin cuts a serious rug. I do not ... as he pointed out quite concisely to me at the time.
Despite all of this — and the day he nearly caused me serious bodily harm in a golf cart at Clinton Raceway — I'm pretty fond of Ross Battin.
He represents a salt-of-the-earth quality that's typically hard to find in the world-at-large, but plentiful in the harness racing industry. There's a charm about horse racing that is so rich, it nearly defies description. However, it's brilliantly embodied by our cast of characters.
Several years later, Battin still rarely smiles for me in the winners' circle. Except tonight. During his induction into the Western Fair Wall Of Fame alongside Terry Kerr and Don McElroy, Battin managed a grin at nearly every queue.
Congrats to all three horsemen on your much-deserved recognition.