About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Derby

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!

7 comments:

  1. I know that I am one of the few owners of a rescued OTTB who actually enjoys racing. Yes, I think they are too young when they train and run them. That being said, to see a horse run its heart out because it wants to win. I just think that is a think of beauty!

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  2. I can't watch racing. I never have been able to - even when I was young. Brian and I rode in our own Derby last evening on our OTTBs!

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  3. I always worry. Theres such a big difference between the standardbred racing here and the throroughbreds. Both have their downfalls but you see far more breakdowns, broken bones, freak outs etc with the thoroughbred racing. Standardbreds if sound race until they are 14 where they have to retire.

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  4. Kristen's BOMay 2, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Go Laz..

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  5. Glad you posted this...
    I don't watch racing and I do not support it.
    I do not agree with working these YOUNG animals so hard, so early.
    Then again, I don't think I would support it if they were started at 5 years old. It is unnecessarily rough on their body. For what? For possible financial gain!

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  6. W.C. Fields: "Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

    Liz Mermin made a movie called HORSES this year that follows three horses through a year of training for racing. Would be interesting to see but I agree with you that it would be fascinating to watch a lifespan documentary of an OTTB racehorse. It would be a real education of reality that is otherwise hidden behind the glamour of racing culture.

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  7. I confess, I watch it. And I watch all the horse racing movies that come out, also. For me it is bittersweet - knowing what happens to them during and after racing; but at the same time they're so amazing to watch in action.
    I think they honestly enjoy it. They don't know what is happening to them; or going to happen to them. Luckily. If they did, they might not be so exuberant about it......

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