Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Racehorse Daydream

The Equine Reader, as you may have noticed, has been on summer vacation this month due to an abundant amount of outside pressures that have been competing for my attention (read: working full time, taking summer graduate marketing courses every weeknight, and trying to carve a paltry day or two out of every week for sleep and R&R). I have also been daily scanning horse related news and not finding all too much which grabbed my scattered mind and begged to be transposed into a blog article. In essence I have been wanting for a muse.

Today, however, determined to get back in the saddle, I intended to discuss this article from the Paulick Report, on a racing patron's pointed assertion that racing as an industry is not, all doomsday news aside, foundering or hobbling along on two bowed tendons. Racing is alive and well, and the fact that handle at three summer tracks beat opening grosses for three B-level movies in the same weekend should be clear indication that people still want to watch the horses run. While I do agree these are promising figures, in most of the country, racing's glory season is the summer, and posting heightened attendance numbers during high season doesn't give me much faith that the industry as a whole isn't flagging. But I hope I am wrong.

I think I have become a little turned off from following and writing about racing even as a devoted horse lover/owner/enthusiast/obsessed diehard. There is so much bad news that it's hard to find those grains of hope that suggest that the industry can remain afloat. NYRA can't seem to get their act together, instead resorting to trading barbs with Albany government in the press. The NYC OTB is/isn't still in existence depending on the day, the Kentucky breeding industry is crying out for better state support, New Jersey racing is in dire straits, and everywhere I turn it seems that another racing entity is having a near-death experience.

Sometimes, especially when this type of news adds stress to my already harried New York City existence, I mentally run away, back to the fields and farms of my youth, and dream of how wonderful it would be to can the entire lot of my life up here in the City and start a little horse rescue outpost somewhere that only the forest critters could find me. Sort of exactly like what this woman did right here. Lynn Reardon, founder of the LOPE racehorse retraining facility, left her four-walls-and-a-paycheck accounting job in Washington, DC to hit out for Texas and start a racehorse rehab. And she did it without a lot of prior knowledge about owning/training/keeping horses, which makes it all the more significant and special. If she can do it, just maybe I will too...

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