ARCADIA, Calif. -- As the daughter of a jockey, Christina Blacker spent nearly every day of her childhood at the Santa Anita race track.
In fact, she was born into a community dedicated to horses and the sport of racing.
“My mom actually scheduled a c-section on a Tuesday because there was no racing that day so my dad could be here for when I was born," Blacker said.
She was just four-years-old when she first jumped into a saddle herself and fell in love with thoroughbreds.
She eventually rode competitively and even became a horse racing broadcaster. Now she’s turned that devotion into a movement.
The "I Am Horse Racing" movement and social media hashtag hopes to pull back the curtain and humanize an industry under fire after a series of tragic headlines surrounding Santa Anita: the death of more than 30 horses since last December.
“There are so many people devastated by that and there are people who went home with tears in their eyes and haven’t gotten over that loss," Blacker said. “And I felt like it was an implication that we didn’t care or we didn’t love the horses.”
To show that love, "I Am Horse Racing” has profiled dozens of people at the center of this sport, from trainers to jockeys to veterinarians and even retired thoroughbreds.
Blacker hopes the stories shine a spotlight on the families behind the sport and their dedication to the horses.
“We wanted you to know there is someone here all night long, the night watchmen, taking their temperature checking their water, their food," Blacker said.
When it comes time for racing this season, Blacker trusts the extra measures that Santa Anita has taken to prevent fatal injuries, from changing medications to ensuring the track is in top condition. Blacker said the track has also invested in technology that can can scan horses for hard-to-detect injuries.
“We're doing everything we can to keep them safe," she said.
Professional horse racing jockey Aaron Gryder also grew up coming to Santa Anita and knew he wanted to be a part of the sport since he was a kid.
Gryder feels the "I Am Horse Racing" movement is a powerful way to show the public that safety concerns are being taken seriously and offers a sense of why riders like him have such a strong passion for the sport.
"I’m a jockey because I love horses not just because I love winning," Gryder said.
With a new season on the horizon, Blacker hopes more people take the time to learn about the sport and people like her and Gryder.
As for the "I Am Horse Racing" movement, she says it’s just at the starting line.