Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Run for the Roses

The Kentucky Derby ended sadly, despite Big Brown's brilliant win. Normally a race for 3 year old colts, fillies can also run, and this year Eight Belles gave it a shot. She was amazing, and came in an easy second place. But somehow something went terribly wrong, and after she crossed the finish line and started to slow down, two of her ankles broke, and that was it for her. It's so shocking that such a big powerful and stunningly beautiful creature could be so fragile, going so quickly from magnificent life to quick and quiet death.

Despite horrible allergies that prevent me from actually going near a horse, I've always been obsessed with the animals, and I've watched the Triple Crown races every year since I was 12 and Sunday Silence won the Derby. I've been waiting in vain for a horse to win the three Triple Crown races--the last time it happened (Affirmed in 1978) I was one year old. I wonder if I'll ever see it happen. And my feelings about racing are more complicated as the years go on. Is it good to breed these animals just to make them run for us to watch and bet on? Are we making them so fragile that they run fast but die young? In this day of modern transportation and technology, is the horse just another commercial, disposable item, there for our pleasure and sport? Hopefully not.

No comments: