Sunday, May 4, 2008

Run For The Roses

The Kentucky Derby ritual has been a long tradition for me and mine. My grandmother used to rent a house upstate in Saratoga for the summer months, no air conditioning, and New York City can get mighty steamy in August. My mom and her sisters would spend their time on the lake and at the track. They became friendly with the jockeys and the people who owned and maintained the racetrack. They learned about racehorses and horse racing firsthand.

Whenever there is a big race everyone voices their opinion about horse, jockey, position and track conditions. Then they head for the track or settle in front of the television and scream their guts out during the race. The Derby is a special favorite, flamboyant and promising.

The winner may go on to win the Triple Crown. Due to a commitment to a work in progress, I didn't attend a Derby Party or even switch on the old tv. Never watched the news and obliviously sank into bed in the wee hours. It was only this morning I heard what had happened on the track yesterday. The joy and the sorrow were so extreme, such beautiful horses.

Big Brown is a wonder horse. He probably will win the Triple Crown. Lovely Eight Belles was so intent on winning she gave her life for it. My tears still fall for her and those who loved her.

The consolation is she died doing what she loved to do. So I say adieu Eight Belles and bon chance Big Brown. The lesson learned from our equine friends is simple, you already know what it is--live each day as though your life depends upon it, take nothing for granted. It is a gift.

In memory of Eight Belles, Barbaro, Ruffian and all the magnificent horses who race and those who don't, there is a family that rescues horses. Horses that are abused, neglected or whose owners cannot care for them due to the high price of grain today. The website is below if you care to take a peek. You can kind of have your own horse. I think that's superb!

Nancy, Allen and Corri Spigart
Pics~Jane Bode c.1943 Saratoga NY
rare photo of Vickie on a sweet horse Lake Mohonk NY back in the day :)

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