Horseracing: For Love and Glory
“They’re at the post …… and they’re off!” famous words in the world of thoroughbred horse racing as these incredibly fit, muscle-toned equine athletes break from the starting gate. When the horses turn for home, the fans scream and cheer, the thundering hooves pounding the ground, the jockeys yelling, chirping, whistling, whipping, scrubbing in beat with the horse – all for the same reason, the “Winners Circle”! This is where you see the joy from hours upon hours of hard work pay off. There are so many people involved, so much money involved, and so much love for these animals, in this gamblers paradise known as “The Sport of Kings”.
It’s a beautiful sight at 5 in the morning; the grooms, trainers, exercise riders and vets get to the track to begin training for the day. Feed tubs and water buckets being cleaned, horses being once-overed to make sure they didn’t get hurt overnight or become sick. Trainers making morning charts, certain horses go at certain times with certain riders. The hustle of the groom having their first horse cleaned with appropriate tack ready for the first set and then that magical walk to the track to train.
Horses and riders coming out of all different barns donning the barn’s colours as the trainer walks right beside to make sure the training goes to-plan and looks for any lameness or imperfections. As they finish training the love, affection, and attention is not done; the sweaty, tired athlete gets a refreshing, hot, soapy sponge bath and continued to be cooled out by their own personal hot walker then put to the lawn for a healthy snack before being put up in the stall. Ice boots, ice tubs, liniments, bandages, rub rags, brushes, hair detangler(conditioner) and even hoof polish is used in order to keep these horses happy, healthy and strong. Along with a meal plan beyond your belief, including the likes of garlic, salt, flax seed among many other of each individual trainer’s secret ingredients.
Yes, this is it; this is the blood, sweat, love, headaches and tears that go into training these world class athletes that the gamblers, the general public, doesn’t get to see. You think your $2 or $100 bet makes you happy when you see your horse in the winner’s circle, but you better believe the gambler is not the only ones screaming and cheering for that victory.
…and that is the last word.