Monday, May 7, 2012

Derby No. 138 Follow-Up: Why I Don’t Watch Horse Races

I have watched several horse races in my lifetime: a couple on television, a couple at the track. In each, horses were hurt—some fatally. It’s enough of a pattern to convince me to stop watching. Not because I think myself a jinx, but because I believe too many horse trainers/owners/jockeys/track operators don’t take enough precautions to ensure the well-being of the horses.

I’ve been waiting to comment on this past weekend’s Run for the Roses until I could find out the postrun health of Take Charge Indy. Turns out, he has a bone chip.

Hey! So do I! I know just what it feels like to have that little bugger send out crippling shocks of pain to remind me it’s there. I feel for you, Take Charge Indy, and know exactly why your Derby race wasn’t your best.

Unlike me, Indy will be undergoing surgery this week to have his chip removed. The owners and vets expect a good recovery after about 60 days of rest and then it’s back to the races for the horse.

I also worried about Phyllis Wyeth’s Union Rags, whose race got stymied right out of the gate. It’s certainly not the worst that could have happened under those circumstances; at least the horses didn’t crash into one another or hurt each other in the tumult of finding a position.

All-in-all, this Derby went smoothly—no pileups, no falls, no injuries, no deaths. No complaints. O, that every race could end on such a high note.

[Photo by Harry Whittier Frees.]


jp said...

Wonderful photo. I love the odd kitty photo. (Seems the internet has revealed widespread, hitherto unsuspected global cat mania.)
Derby Day! My parents were married on a Derby Day. My father was buried on a Derby Day. In between those two were, presumably, many anniversaries on Derby Days.
I enjoy your writing very much although now,in my old(er) age I have acknowledged an inability to see, read or hear of animal abuse. That Humane Society public service announcement with Sara McLachlan makes me almost physically ill at the first lovely chord.
That said, I applaud and anticipate your post-lull lull.

cj said...

JP: Apparently the cat mania started long ago--the pic here hails from the 19th century. How nice that you have an entirely different context for Derby Days. Was it happenstance that your parents married on a Derby Day? Or were they horse-racing fans? As for animal abuse, I know just what you mean. But for some reason, I can't seem to avoid the subject these days. I interpret this as a sign I need to take action.

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