Friday, November 26, 2010

A Conscious Decision to Do the Right Thing

"I am a great champion
when I ran, the ground shook
the sky opened
and mere mortals parted
... parted the way to victory
and I met my owner in the winners circle
where he put a blanket of flowers on my back" (from the movie, Dreamer)

How many of us have had the thrill of being in the Winners Circle? Whether your horse is the favorite or a 55-1 long shot, nothing matches the thrill of winning! Your horse, your time to celebrate! The excitement is the same for the millionaires and the syndicate that has 25 people buying into a $ 15,000 claimer, its the victory that we remember most.

But after the excitement, the back slaps and the high fives, the horse that brought the victory goes back to its barn and may or may not ever win again.

When that happens, what happens?

That choice is equally the responsibility of the owner and trainer. Both work in tandem to ready the horse for its race, and both should be responsible in ensuring that when the horse can no longer perform, that it finds a responsible, safe vehicle for retirement.

Becoming involved in horse racing is a choice for every person that participates in it, only the horse bred to race doesn't have a choice in the matter. That doesn't mean that they don't want to run, that's an argument for another day (and one that we won't debate--as we know that horses are bred for and love to run). The choice is made (based on his or her abilities) to become a race horse. If a human can make the decision to consciously breed the horse, break the horse, train the horse and race the horse. Then that same conscious decision should be made to provide a retirement for that horse after it can no longer race.

A race horse is a created, dependant animal for our pleasure and entertainment. Only education and the truth provided by the race track industry will ensure that owners (including new and prospective) and trainers employed by the owners understand their responsibility to their investment....when the finish line is no longer an option.

To learn the process of surrendering a horse to The Second Race or for our assistance in networking to help place a horse go to our website page

1 comment:

  1. Sharla, I couldn't agree more. OF course, I'm biased since we got two fine OTTBs from our trainer friends.

    In fact, they loved the home we gave Bar so much that when it was time to find a home for Forrest, Devon asked us for help. Little did we know, my daughter Katie would fall head over heels in love with him.

    They are good people, and absolutely take full responsibility for fining good homes for their horses once their racing careers come to and end. (Or in Forrest's case, don't really get started.)

    I'd like to hope more owners/trainers out there will step up, and I know people like you will help them make the right choice.


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