CHICAGO BARN TO WIRE
do you go for information? Where do you go to find like-minded souls? Where do
you go when you just want to blow off steam? Where do you go if you simply want
to argue? Home? Probably not a good
idea, for a lot of reasons.
in the know find a quiet spot, go online and head to the Chicago Barn to Wire
Barn to Wire (www.barntowire.com)
is the brainchild of Janine Starykowicz. It’s an
all-encompassing website that features links to stories about racing,
Thoroughbred and Standardbred, in Illinois as well as a marketplace, links to
eBay benefit auctions, links to blogs, legislative updates, and so much more.
the most popular feature of this site is the Chicago Barn to Wire Forum.
According to Starykowicz, there are several thousand
members signed up for the forum and several hundred of them are regular users.
In fact, if you peruse through the different forum posts you will find numerous
members that are on virtually every page.
are pacifists, some are contrarians, some are just nice
people with an opinion. Occasionally, it’s like reading, not watching, the
Jerry Springer show.
it does make for interesting reading.
there is a tremendous amount of information disseminated. Training methods,
riders, breeders, breeds and politics are only some of the topics covered.
Often, the discussions become heated. Sometimes overheated.
But, unless the discussions are too far over the top, Janine, and her group of
moderators, will let it go.
like to argue," she said. "The recent slots at the track legislation
brought lots of interest to the forum, and horse slaughter gets talked about a
lot too. Sometimes off-topic comments come up too, like football, politics, or
the weather. It's a community."
expansion is critical to the future of racing to raise purses, and Starykowicz keeps current on legislative news. "There
have been so many attempts to get something going, we need for something to
happen," she said. Because bills are constantly created and altered, Starykowicz
said it's important to keep people informed so they can work
together to get the word out and promote the industry.
way that Starykowicz does that is by linking news
articles from local newspapers that relate to the horse industry. "Most
newspapers allow people to comment on their articles online now, so we post
links to these articles so people can go comment and argue our side of
things," Starykowicz explained.
Barn to Wire has a comprehensive links section for all things horse racing
related, and a new marketplace that also includes free classified ads. “You'd
be amazed at all the horse-related items you can find on Amazon and eBay,” Starykowicz said. “Prices are quite competitive online, so
you can save a lot of money.”
Starykowicz is a horse owner herself. She's owned horses
through the Virtual Owners Partnership and SMILE Stable. She's also a founding
board member and webmaster of the Illinois
Center, and a volunteer
with the Galloping Out program.
to this, Starykowicz was involved in political and
non-profit fundraising. She has a degree in Journalism and Political Science
from Indiana University Bloomington.
Starykowicz said her main purpose with Chicago Barn
to Wire is to promote Illinois
racing and to let others see what's going on so they can promote it too.
sitting at their computers now," Starykowicz
said. "We need
to get them back out to the track. Racing is fun!"
the website at www.barntowire.com.