Sunday, May 4, 2008

the not-so-pretty side to the kentucky derby

I have always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby. The swankiness, the mint juleps, the big floppy hats...it all looks so fun! Well, I'm not independently wealthy nor am I from/near Kentucky, so yesterday I did the next best thing to actually attending the event: watching it from the comfort of my plush couch snacking on home-made trail mix. Of course, the event isn't really the race (it is only two minutes long, after all), it's all the hob nobbing that happens before the race. Did I mention the fabulous big floppy hats? Love them.

Sadly, the only filly to race the Kentucky Derby since 1999 was fatally injured after she completed the track (in second place, I might add). The television broadcast definitely downplayed the whole event, and it was hard to even see what had happened until the track veterinarian came on air to announce that they were forced to euthanize Eight Belles after she broke both of her front ankles during a post-race gallop. Eight Belles had to be put down because she could not get up by herself to make it into the horse ambulance. Apparently, this happens to a lot of race horses, in addition to having post-race aneurysms and heart attacks. It all comes down to the way the breed the animals for such an unnatural combination of speed, strength, and lightness. I found this amazing article today in The Washington Post speaking out against the way NBC approached the tragic event. Definitely worth the read.

6 comments:

Andy said...

That's SOOO sad. I was watching the video on youtube and it made me cry just for the fact that they had to kill him. Poor thing.

Anonymous said...

There will always be a place for Eight Belles in our heart... and in Europe apparently: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2001-04-11-foot-europe-food.htm although the article is a bit dated.

Anonymous said...

That link again, in case it got cut off on the screen:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/
2001-04-11-foot-europe-food.htm

KC said...

i heard about it; it was very sad. unfortunately that's the best thing they can do for them. they can't heal from that injury, or at least no one knows how they can.

nicolle said...

kc - exactly! that's the horrible part! they breed the animals to win races, but an unfortunate side effect of that is weak bones which = fatal bone fractures. poor ponies. that's why i want a mini pony, they're stout enough that i don't think broken ankles is an issue. and they're also so freaking cute.

Anonymous said...

...yea but then they can't run around in a giant circle very fast, rendering them useless.