Teavana, fragrant, natural teas

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Run for the Roses

Focus on the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby circulated largely on the celebrities attending and "The World's Largest Mint Julep". Parties hit the press and photos of the celebs such as Taylor Hicks, Travis Tritt, Joey Fatone, Carson Daly - to name only a few are flooding the internet for anyone interested. Considering how the day turned out, the looking at how any person was dressed or how they acted at the various galas seems insipid and vacuous.

Also considering what the day was about - The Kentucky Derby and the magnificent equine athletes that compete in the historic event, focus on the human inanities seems insignificant in the big picture. The horses drew press only so much as to provide the statistics for prospective bettors. Hillary Clinton's name emerged as she, of course, was backing the lone filly in the race, Eight Belles.

Certainly there are sites fawning over this celebrity and that; certainly Taylor Hicks cut a fine statement in his pin-striped suit and baby blue shirt and striped tie, but the day will forever be defined as the day one of the participating athletes lost their short life.

Being a horse lover, since I knew they existed, I was one of those girls who read every Marguerite Henry novel and every Walter Farley book written. I collected the Breyer line of horses with my allowances and I began my first fiction writing ventures about horses. I drew them so much I can sit and sketch from memory. I have sat since a kid (watched it with my Dad yearly) to watch the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown series. You see, Secretariat was a real hero to me, as real as any human hero could be when I was a girl.

My first horse was obtained through almost a bet with my Dad. I was 10 years old and he told me, save $200.00 and we'll see about getting you a horse. He was weary of my talking about wanting one and asking for one every Christmas and birthday since I was four. I set aside lunch monies, any money I could get my hands on and before long I had that $200.00. Mother was not happy, last thing she wanted was a horse in the family. We'd never known anyone who even had one and as usual she looked at me and my wishes like I was from another planet. As a severe understatement, she and I had little in common with the exception of our physical appearance.

The first horse was my most memorable, where I learned everything about the real world of horses and how very different owning one was outside of the fictional books I had read. That said, I loved every minute down to cleaning Brandy's stall. She was my best friend in my life for many years. When times would get rough through my teenage angst years, I'd run the two miles to the barn we boarded her at and ride all night long, only to sneak home in the morning to get ready for school.

What some folks don't understand about horses, once they decide (and have the intelligence left after all the in-breeding evidenced today) their loyalty to you or something they love, they will do it with everything in them - no matter what it takes. Folks talk about elephants never forgetting, any horse trainer will tell you elephants got nothing on horses.

Yesterday during the 134th running of the Derby, Eight Belles did what came strong and naturally for her. She did what was in her heart to do and she did it literally until she died. She ran. Eight Belles ran on fractured legs, her front legs, until the finish line was crossed because that was what she loved to do. Should she not have had those horrible injuries, one is only left to imaging what dust she might have left the favorite seeing kicked up. According to reports I've read, her jockey said she was running differently, early in the race. Watching footage, in slow motion, you can see her front leg action looks strange. Thing is, she did not let the pain stop her. She literally ran the legs out from under herself to the finish.

Hillary Clinton picking this filly as a favorite may have selected her because of obvious reasons. In picking the lone filly, the horse that ran with two broken legs, it seems to ironically follow in Hillary's current bid for Presidential office. Certainly with the way the Presidential race is going for her, she could be comparable to that horse running with fractured legs. Hillary keeps going because that is what she is meant to do. It really struck me reading certain articles how the media spins have it making her more of a loser. These media types obviously know nothing about the heart of a horse, not to mention a real race horse. I'm not a Hillary supporter by any means, but I am understanding the tenacity behind this lady's heart.

Eight Belles, the tragic heroine of the 134th Kentucky Derby, died doing what she loved to do, she raced her race and did not give up without a fight. People could learn something from animals such as she.

In honor of the fallen filly, Eight Belles, who passes away following breaking her two front ankles:
video c/o Equuestriaan

"Run for the Roses" Dan Fogelberg, video c/o coloradream

No comments:

Post a Comment