This weekend Mario Gutierrez rides I’ll Have Another at the 2012 Belmont Stakes as he attempts to be the first Triple Crown winning jockey in 34 years. Less than one year ago, Gutierrez was toiling away at a tiny Canadian track of less than a mile, and now he’s on the verge of the kind of success most jockeys only dream of.
It seems there may be a secret behind his amazing connection with his horses and blistering rise to success: Reiki. The owners of First Gold Bar, the horse "Super Mario " rode at that tiny Canadian track were the first to point it out.
“By observing Mario, one realizes that he has a special relationship with horses,” they said in a statement. ”When Mario steps in the saddle he is one with the horse. He has the talent to transfer his energy to the horse at the precise moment when he wants the horse to accelerate. Mario does not need the leather whip to win the Triple Crown – he has a “Reiki Whip”.
Reiki is a Japanese healing technique which promotes relaxation and balance. It works in a manner similar to acupuncture, but without the use of needles. Treatment can be administered by a professional or by oneself after having been properly trained. Both treatment and training are offered locally by The Reiki Company.
Treating animals with Reiki is nothing new. Horses in particular react quite well to Reiki. Often, treating one skittish horse is enough to calm an entire barn. However, one of the most important principles of Reiki is daily self care, and Gutierrez displays many of the attributes of those who work with Reiki regularly. Mario Gutierrez is known in the horse world for his impressively calm, balanced and humble demeanor and a deep sense of gratitude.
”He’s handled the pressure well and he knows his horse well. He and the horse both have a lot of confidence in each other and that’s something that’s critical to their success,” former jockey Richard Migliore said in a recent Sports Illustrated article. “They both seem to be thriving on all the attention and excitement. Instead of getting nervous and anxious, they’re getting excited and pumped up.”
Trainer Doug O’Neil even said both jockey and horse seem to be “wired in a special way.”
“He (I’ll have Another)’s very relaxed in his stall, he sleeps a lot, he’s very reserved. And on the track he’s very energetic and competitive. So he’s got a perfect personality for a great race horse. He’s our dream horse, “ O’Neil said in an Associated Press interview. And of the jockey, he had this to say: “He’s programmed in such a calm, confident way that I know he’s just kind of soaking it all up. He’s enjoying every bit of it, and I’m not concerned at all that (the Triple Crown) will overwhelm him or zap his energy or his abilities at all.”
Of course, the real proof of Mario Gutierrez’s unruffled, laid back and appreciative nature is shown in his own words.
“”I have nothing to be nervous about. My horse is going to be ready, so I have to be ready too, “ Gutierrez said. “ Because of I’ll Have Another, all these great things are happening to me. He absolutely turned my world upside down.”