Sunday, May 04, 2008

RIP, Little Filly


I will never watch horse racing again after the tragic death of filly Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby yesterday. I was pulling for that little girl running against the big boys -- not for money, just on general principle -- and she ran her heart out. She came in second to winner Big Brown, only to collapse with two broken front ankles and was subsequently ignominiously euthanized right there on the track.

Remember Barbaro who broke his leg during the 2006 Preakness? He wasn't immediately put down, but ended up losing his life several months later. What the hell are they doing to horses these days that their legs are so delicate? Sometimes their legs break right out of the starting gate. Others make it through the race only to shatter a limb as they approach the finish line. Apparently, some owners and trainers view this as just "part of the business." I don't. I never heard of Eight Belles in my life before last week, but her death made me cry. It seems so senseless.

"This horse showed you his heart," winning jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "and Eight Belles showed you her life for our enjoyment today. I'm deeply sympathetic to that team for their loss."

Showed you her life? No, she gave her life for the sake of someone's enjoyment and dreams of money. At least she'll no longer feel the sting of a crop urging her to run faster and win, win, win.

11 comments:

Sling said...

I didn't watch the race,but heard about it and thought about Barbaro.
I've been to the track dozens of times,and never had to witness a horse being put down.
It's just sad.

/t. said...

sadly,
this post
reminds me
that i need more
wood glue ;)

¤ ¤ ¤

/t.

Corn Dog said...

How horribly sad. I had not heard. Poor little pony. My heart goes out to the little filly.

VE said...

I hadn't heard this until I read your post. Seems sad and a bit barbaric...I haven't seen them do that to soccer players and football players...

Serena Joy said...

You know what's weird, Sling? I thought about Barbaro as soon as I heard it was Derby day. And I thought, "Nah, lightning wouldn't strike twice." You're right, it's just sad.:(

Wood glue, /t.? What, are you building a new Trojan horse?:)

It is horribly sad, CD. And just -- just outrageous.:(

I thought it was barbaric, too, VE. People break bones all the time; they don't get put down. Surely there was a way to get that horse to an equine clinic and splint/cast/whatever her ankles. What, the owner didn't want "damaged goods?" That's just horrible.:(

puerileuwaite said...

I am also very upset over this, and can barely bear to think about it. Hope she is in a special place.

Serena Joy said...

You're a sensitive pup, Puggy, which is only one of the many reasons I adore you. I hope she's in a special place, too.

G-Man said...

It was indeed a tragedy, and I felt terrible also.

But one thing we should remember before we get too caught up in this...
Some horses LOVE LOVE LOVE to run!
They have personalitys, they have spirit, and they have a very competitive nature!!
I would like to think that she went out very proud, doing what she loved...Running like the wind!!!

xoxbgxox

Skunkfeathers said...

Life is many things, not all of them happy and joyful. To know the difference is to have lived.

Serena Joy said...

Oh, I know, G. Horses SHOULD run. It's their nature to run. It's just some aspects of racing I have a problem with. That, and the apparent overbreeding that causes the anomalies that lead to their running themselves to death.

Those are true words, Skunk. So true.

Bilbo said...

There was an interesting interview on NPR last weekend with a veteran racing observer who said that part of the problem with the race horses nowadays is the degree of inbreeding as a result of attempts to maximize the lineage of proven champions. Perhaps weak leg bones are as much a result of this as hemophaelia is in humans. We used to own a horse that our daughter raced cross country...he could jump all kinds of obstacles, AND barrel race with the best of them. No weak bones, there!