Farm Family Story

Mike Jarvis jogs a horse around the track at Sam Mignano Farm in Monroe, Michigan. The farm takes part in harness racing in Michigan and Ohio and is home to many championship horses.

Gracie Miller, 6, helps brush a horse while her mom, Ann Miller, cleans it’s stable. Gracie said she would only work if her mom paid her $1.

Mike Jarvis smokes a cigarette while holding a horse’s leg in a bucket. The horse got a pebble stuck in it’s hoof while racing at Hazel Park Raceway.

Gracie Miller, 6, attaches a chain to her shirt as she pretends to be a horse drinking water, while her mother, Ann Miller, holds the bucket.

Ann Miller cleans a horse’s stable free of feces, while the horse stands in the hallway of the barn. She would take each horse out one by one as part of the cleaning process.

Mike Jarvis pats his favorite horse after jogging returning to the barn from the track in preparation for the race later that night.

Sam Mignano Farm is the home of championship horses that race across the state of Michigan and Ohio in harness racing.  Harness racing is when the horses go at a specific trot.

It takes a lot to clean, train, and break in horses, which is what Ann Miller and Mike Jarvis do on the farm.  Miller and Jarvis are just two of the employees on the farm.

Jarvis takes the horses out on the track to either practice for upcoming races or to break in a horse.  It can take from couple weeks to a couple months to break in a horse, depending on the horse.

Ann Miller does most of her work in the barn.  She would take each horse out of their stable, one by one, to clean it out.

Miller started riding horses at the age of 9, but switched to harness racing at by the age of 19.  She had been at the farm for about a week and half, but she had worked there a couple before.

“It’s a very hard place to work,” Miller said.  “They go through employees quickly because the boss is so strict.”  Miller occasionally brings her six year old daughter Gracie to work with her.  Gracie said she would only work if her mom gave her one dollar.


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