By Isaiah Negron
The world of horse racing is getting a new generation of committed women involved. Sheila Rosenblum is the owner of Lady Sheila Stable and chief investor and manager of Lady Sheila Stable Two, an ownership collective of high profile female investors. A resident of Manhattan, Ms. Rosenblum has experienced great success in the racing industry since becoming an owner in 2010. “One of the main challenges of the horse racing industry is operating in a predominantly male-oriented world,” she confides. “I’m a new woman on the rise and the new kid on the block in the industry, but I always like to see how much we can push and how long we can keep going.” Her passion and interest in thoroughbreds prompted her entry to racing following a successful career as a model with Wilhelmina and Ford. She is also an alumna of The Royal Ballet School in London and the School of American Ballet. “I think the industry is happy to embrace my syndication as we bring enthusiasm, joy, honesty, integrity and a touch of beauty as well,” Sheila said. “Sound, healthy, and happy horses are my goal. Of course I can dream for The Triple Crown yet be thrilled with a graded stake win. Being in the winner’s circle is pure joy as I’ve now had a great many to appreciate. Winning is an incredible feeling, but to accept defeat with grace is a challenging must.”
Since teaming up with Linda Rice, the world’s top female trainer, in 2013, the dazzling duo has been a formidable pair on the racetrack. “I have great respect for Linda. She became the first partner in Lady Sheila Stable. She is the most dedicated trainer I know,” Rosenblum says. “Linda doesn’t know what a sick day means, as she has only missed work once in the time we’ve been working together.” The stable’s top runner, La Verdad, has become one of the best New York-breds in training and has won six of eleven starts in 2014, including the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct. “I never thought I’d want to be competitive again after ballet and modeling, but I did and the goal now is to bring in other women, both C.E.O.’s and mothers alike, to be part of this world,” she explains. “A lot of mothers can sit next to any C.E.O. and speak as eloquently as they can. They’re the C.E.O.’s of the household.”
Another of Sheila’s passions comes in the form of her philanthropic work. This spring, she will be honored along with her 18-year-old daughter Kara with the Par Excellence Award at the March of Dimes’ upcoming “Spirit of Beauty” luncheon on May 11th, one day after Mother’s Day. Sheila has been an advocate for the charity, which works to help moms have full-term pregnancies, for over ten years and has been on the board for over 5 years. “When I started Lady Sheila Stable, my two children were getting older and I felt it was the right time in my life to devote the hours needed and learn more about my passion for horses and the thoroughbred racing business,” she explains. “I am always there for my family and they want to see me succeed in this as well. It’s great to have them behind me for support. Now I balance that love with my love of horses.” She’s instilled the spirit of generosity into her children as well; her daughter is an intern at March of Dimes and has created a youth group for the organization.
Sheila has always known that although she can’t save the entire world, she can do everything in her power to save a person. Fifteen years ago, she did just that without even initially realizing it when she met a two year old named Destiny, who was born to an incarcerated mother and an unknown father, at Hale House. She instantly connected with the child and became an advocate, mentor and mother figure to the now 16-year-old, who is now looking at colleges. “I’ve been a mentor to a foster daughter for the past 14 years. It has allowed me to bring more love into my life and give that love back,” confides Sheila. “That extends to everything I do, from my family, to my horses. I’ve had misfortune, but the good has far outweighed the bad.” Sheila, who brought her two children Erik and Kara to Hale House weekly, wanted to make sure they knew what the real world looked like with all its positivity and negativity. Sheila had Destiny volunteer at Green Chimneys, which helps children who have emotional and behavioral challenges by having them interact with animals.
Her latest success is the launch of Lady Sheila Stable Two, a horse syndicate that is owned solely by women, including Douglas Elliman C.E.O. Dottie Herman, “Real Housewife” Jill Zarin, Diane Davis, Iris Smith, Jessie Laiken and Donna Bernstein. “I think women have to work just a little bit harder to prove ourselves in a male-dominated industry,” Rosenblum says. “I’m an all or nothing person and I passionately put my heart into everything I do, from my kids to my horses.” Rosenblum recently celebrated the acquisition of three new two-year-old fillies under the Lady Sheila Stable Two colors that will hit the track this spring. Sheila looks forward to even more successes in 2015. “I think I’m a bit of what the industry wants and needs right now: more women plus a little bit of glamour. I’m going to dream, as always, to win the Triple Crown or get a Stakes win. I am going to continue to raise sound horses. Without sound horses, there are no horses. This year I’m going to continue to further my racing syndicate and go for as many wins as we can.”
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