Get to Know Rockingham Ranch's Brian Trump

The Life
Brian Trump of Rockingham Ranch leads Roy H into the Breeders' Cup winner's circle.
Brian Trump (left) of Rockingham Ranch leads Roy H into the Breeders' Cup winner's circle. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Brian Trump hasn't been in horse racing long but has quickly made an impact as operations manager of Rockingham Ranch. The racing stable owned a pair of Breeders' Cup winners in 2017 with Roy H (TwinSpires Sprint) and Stormy Liberal (Turf Sprint), and in 2018 both gave Rockingham and co-owner David Bernsen repeat victories to bring their Breeders' Cup tally to four. Get to know Brian with the Q&A below.

My introduction to horse racing occurred when: Five years ago, my girlfriend at the time, now wife, asked me to go with her father to Del Mar for the day. He had purchased his first race horse and he was running that day. She thought it would be a good bonding experience for us. Instantly, I became hooked on the sport.

What it felt like to win my first Breeders’ Cup race: Winning the Breeders’ Cup last year with Stormy Liberal was truly the highlight of my horse racing career. To have both our horses finish first and second in that race was unbelievable. I mean you draw these things up in your head as to the way you want things to go, but rarely do they end up happening, especially at that level.

What it felt like to win my second Breeders’ Cup race: To follow up our first BC win with Roy H winning the Sprint last year was somewhat surreal. We hadn't even come down off of the high of Stormy's win. We were all just on cloud nine. 

I’d compare repeating this year with two Breeders’ Cup winners (Stormy Liberal and Roy H) to: This year was very special because there were so many that doubted our horses. Felt that they didn't travel well and wouldn't have had the success of last year’s Breeders Cup if we hadn't been at Del Mar. Boy were they wrong. 

Next year at the Breeders’ Cup I’m going to top the past two years by: How can you possibly top these past two years? I guess the only answer is to go for the three-peat!

My top three favorite racetracks in order, and what I like about each one: Del Mar is truly a gem. The track is beautiful, and the ocean breeze keeps the temperature down. Santa Anita is a close second as I think our horses love the surface there and I love that I can be there in just 35 minutes. Gulfstream Park is my third favorite, again being close to the ocean in South Florida and so close to Miami, but that's a whole other story. 

Roy H after winning the 2017 Sprint at Del Mar.
Roy H after winning the 2017 Sprint at Del Mar. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Favorite place at the racetrack to watch a race: I prefer to watch the race down on the track by the tunnel. It allows me to focus on the race without all the commotion nearby, and there's something about the rumbling of the horses stomping the ground as they cross in front of me that is exhilarating.

What I do when I’m not at the races: I have a beautiful wife and two girls that I spend my time with. 

Favorite racehorse currently competing: Roy H is my favorite horse. He is a gentle giant. People see him on the track and he is quite the specimen of a horse, but behind the scenes he is truly a gentle giant. 

Favorite all-time racehorse: Secretariat.

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Energy, emotional, passion 

Should the Breeders’ Cup rotate from coast to coast or have a permanent home: I like the fact that the event switches back and forth from coast to coast. Just another excuse to travel! 

Favorite international racing event: I was thoroughly impressed by the spectacle that was put on when I went to the Hong Kong International Races, however my favorite international event is the Dubai World Cup. 

Three ways to attract more fans to the sport: We need to continue to grow the coverage of the sport, both on major networks as NBC Sports has done, but also on social media. Get it out there for everyone to see. I also love the idea of doing reality shows focused on horses, trainers, jockeys, and owners in contention for the Kentucky Derby or the Breeders’ Cup. Allow new viewers to build a personal relationship with the teams and the horse. A relationship that goes beyond just seeing the name and thinking it is cute.

Other sports/teams I follow: Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers 

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: World Series game at Dodger Stadium. The atmosphere was electric.

Stormy Liberal, Trump, and others in the 2018 Turf Sprint winner's circle.
Stormy Liberal, Trump, and others in the 2018 Turf Sprint winner's circle. (Eclipse Sportswire)

My favorite athletes of all time: Kobe Bryant, not just because of his greatness and tremendous work ethic, but because he challenged others to be great. He made others better, and then he transitioned his skills into his career after basketball. He's a successful business investor and philanthropist. He continues to challenge others to be great. He's the kind of guy that exudes greatness and inspires. Kobe, if you're reading this, we would love for you to get involved in horse racing too!

Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram: I'm still a Twitter guy at heart.

Twitter handle: @realBrianTrump, and feel free to follow me for updates on all of our horses and behind the scenes photos and info on our stable.

Favorite thing to eat after a winning day at the races: A nice prime rib dinner, with creamy horseradish sauce of course.

Least favorite food: I love all food equally. It's kind of a problem. 

Best racetrack food can be found at: The corned beef sandwich at Santa Anita Park is pretty incredible, but that spread they just put out at Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup was impressive.

Favorite cocktail: Kentucky mule

Top racing websites I visit daily: Americasbestracing.net, Bloodhorse.com, and DRF.com

What apps are on your phone: Twitter, Instagram, HorseRacesNow, TwinSpires, TVG, DRF, RTN Mobile

I’d like to have dinner with the following three people inside racing: Bob Baffert, Chad Brown, and Todd Pletcher. I relate training horses to a baseball swing. There are many different ways to get the job done. No one way is necessarily right or wrong. But I love to hear everyone's philosophy.

I’d like to have dinner with the following three people outside of racing: Elon Musk, Kobe Bryant, and Richard Branson. If anyone can make it happen, I'll owe you one!

My philosophy on life: Life has its highs and its lows. Be humble for the highs, and resilient for the lows. The power of a positive mind is far greater than any obstacle presented to you.

Accomplishment I am most proud of: I am most proud of the two beautiful daughters I have. They are my everything in life. They are by far my greatest achievement.

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