Oh, the infamous Kentucky Derby day is here.
The fashion, the hats, the mint juleps, the cheering crowd, the muscular shimmering bodies of one of the world's greatest athletes; The Thoroughbred.
You can appreciate the beauty for sure, however I, personally find it hard to not view it as a little fake. A little gluttonous. I would love to see a story of a typical race horse, from birth to his/her last days of life and how that OTTB lived. I know my horse's story and so many of you have your own. I really wonder, out of all those people in the crowd that come to cheer and be a part of the excitement....do they think about what happens after the races? Do I know what happens after the races? Behind the glory of the winner, what happens to the colt that comes in 6th, or 13th? What happens to the horse that scratches the day of?
I know there are a lot of great stories for many OTTB's that lead a happy life in new owner's hands.
But then, that can't possibly be all of them.
Is this a sport that is necessary? At the age of 3 yrs old?
MinethatBird- winner of 2009 Derby
Tough Filly Rachel Alexandra-winner of 2009 Preakness
The late filly Eight Belles, who today had a race named after her. She permanently left a cloud of darkness on the track and showed many first hand, what can happen in a race. I think for many it was a slap in the face of realizing this can be a bit barbaric. There are life and death risks, like so many sports.
And of course, this gem of a TB, Barbaro whose story obviously speaks volumes me. I have a hard time even hearing his name with my throat choking up and my heart twisting.
How do you feel about today, the day of the Kentucky Derby?
Do you celebrate by watching it, admiring the beautiful athletes although so very young, trying their hearts out? Do you wince and worry before the race but watch to make sure every horse is 'ok?' Do you ban the race from being on TV in your home?
I know there are a lot of different answers, and I'm actually VERY curious to see what other OTTB owners out there think? Or non OTTB owners for that matter.
For a two minute race...there is an animal's life involved in it.
I know that I feel very lucky to have my Lazarus, who came from this sport, enjoying today being in his pasture and being loved.
May all the horses (and jockeys) run safely today!