Horse owner and trainer to marry at Rockingham

by Lynne Snierson, publicity director, Rockingham Park

Salem, NH — There will be wedding bells along with starting gate bells at Rockingham Park on Saturday (July 7) when Marcia Mayo and Ron Marsh tie the knot in the winner’s circle following the afternoon races.

“We’ve been going together for two years and she decided last year that she wanted to get married on seven-seven-oh-seven for good luck,” said Marsh, who trains Hey Big Fred for Mayo. “Then she picked the winner’s circle at the track for even more good luck.”

Marsh and Mayo, who are from Vermont and are racing at Rockingham this summer, are among millions of couples all over the world who decided to marry on the 7th day of the seventh month of 2007 for good luck. The date, which connotes lucky sevens and rolling sevens at a gambling venue, comes but once per century.

“We’ll get married right after the races in a small ceremony, and then we’ll have the reception in the track kitchen,” said Marsh. “We’ll stay here and race, and then have our honeymoon next winter in the Caribbean on Saint Martens.”

Over the 101-year history of Rockingham Park, many other couples have been married in the winner’s circle or in the Clubhouse. Nonetheless, no one around the racetrack these days can remember if anyone tied the knot here on July 7, 1907. On Saturday, Salem Town Clerk Barbara Lessard will perform the marriage ceremony.

Mayo, who owns just the one horse, and Marsh, who trains eight horses in his stable, got to pose for photos in the winner’s circle on the day before their nuptials. Hey Big Fred, who was making his seventh start of 2007 in a field of seven pacers, won the third race on Friday’s (July 6) card wearing the number three saddle cloth. The 2-1 favorite returned $6.80, $5.80, and $3.80 and the win was the first of his career.

Also on Saturday, the track will host a special Texas Hold ‘Em tournament with a $10,000 first prize. The main tournament, which is sponsored by Dewar’s scotch, begins at 2:00 p.m. and the satellite tournaments start at 11:00 a.m. In addition to the $10,000 grand prize, leather poker sets, flasks, and other prizes from Dewar’s will be up for grabs.

Saturday’s live racing card features 10 races and post time is 1:05 p.m. Full card thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound simulcasting will be offered from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight.

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