Saturday, May 03, 2008

Kentucky Derby

I just watched the Derby for my first time. I saw the big hype that surrounds it with the women in their enormous hats and the frenzy of the betters putting cash down on their favorites. Hours of red carpet appearances, TV coverage, speculation, etc. All of it coming to a crescendo in those quick 3 minutes pronounced by a loud bell ringing and the horses come shooting out of the gates.

The jockeys poised and pushing their horses to perform in the 134th annual race - seeing them come around the turn and then the final 1/4 mile into the finishing straight. Big Brown handily won - with filly Eight Bells in second three lengths behind him. Coverage immediately pans onto the winner - yet a tragic end for the filly as she collapsed down to the dirt track. Moments later a veterinarian informs the interviewer she had sustained front double ankle breaks - one of the most painful injuries a horse can have. A split minute decision was made to end her life.

The camera quickly pans away from the filly, now surrounded by vet carriers and ambulances and back to the trainer of the winner. The horse is a little spooked - nipping at the person guiding him. I bet Big Brown sensed the tragedy. It seems so wrong for the celebration - the whooping and hollering when one of the players was severely injured and put down to rest. My eyes welled up with tears, my heart crushed. Thoughts go out to those who raised and trained the magnificent horse.

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