Saturday, May 5, 2007


The boyz order another round. The TVs tire of Derby footage and start to run a tribute to Barbaro. I'm a total sap when it comes to stories of the struggle between spirit and adversity-- especially when they involve horses.

Liz comes back in time to run protective interference as the story turns gruesome. I bury my eyes and plug my ears while she watches for it to be over-- "nope, don't look yet. No, they're still going. Man, this is long--eeeeew! No, not yet!"

Incredible colt. The true poster child for the racing industry. Its fairly easy for the public to turn a blind eye to the scores of horses who ARE the foundation of the industry. The lucky ones go to rescues such as the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation or find new career as riding horses-- I have several of those in my fields. The others, well, these are the horses who end up "with a one way ticket to France," as a vet friend calls slaughter. The horses whose stories are cut short and eclipsed by another's Winners Circle glory.

Barbaro WAS that glory personified--and yet he showed a nation how crap luck could change lives in an instant. Like any Golden Boy he had it all-- raw talent, drive, charisma, doting "parents" and the funding for any possibility. And still, an insidious compensatory disorder claimed his strenth, his fire--and his life.

To me, as to millions of horse lovers, no doubt, it is a call to action. What can WE do to impact this wrinkle in the world? Wish, my most recent racetrack rescue, wickers in the starlight. I don't know where her destiny lies. It sure isn't on the track. My role is simple: to open the door and to follow where the winds of spirit lead.

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