I. Love. This. Article. Thank you, Steve Haskin. I appreciate your honesty and that you have noticed how women have tried so hard to keep horse racing going, especially lately.
Many of us are not bettors, believe it or not. We’re just in it to watch the horses, and to pick our favorites. We have our favorite horses, jockeys, trainers, even owners and grooms, exercise riders, people behind the scenes. We want to know who is taking care of “our” horses and we want to know if they’re doing a good job. Are these horses really as healthy as they look on the track? Are they treated with love and respect on the shedrow and not just in front of the cameras? Show me more pictures of grooms hugging or kissing their horses. Show me the kitten who wanders the shedrows searching for mice. Show me the trainer who tears up when he hears his horse will be retired. These are the things women horse lovers care about, and we want to make sure the horses are loved and happy before anything else because if we could be there, this is how we’d treat them.
Just look at Jo Anne Normile’s story, “Saving Baby: How One Woman’s Love for a Racehorse Led to Her Redemption.” The entire book is about her journey to start CANTER, a racehorse rescue program to keep them out of slaughter. Nothing hurts worse than hearing about just one horse being led away to that truck. And Ferdinand? Ugh. We won’t go there or I’ll start crying again. (Google his name if you don’t know what happened to him. Bring the Kleenex.) My point is that women are pushing for improvements and getting results and that can only be good for the sport.
I’m thrilled that Steve Haskin has noticed what I’ve noticed recently, and just couldn’t put into words. As usual, he communicates the notion perfectly.
“It was the main character, Velvet Brown, who just happened to sum up American Pharoah in one brief sentence and become the catalyst for this column.”