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Enough is Enough

rachel alexandra

Guest Commentary
By HEATHER SEIDEN

Enough with this negative spotlight on our industry because of a possible few bad apples.

Every sport and industry have both good and bad aspects. To make such sweeping generalizations and focus on just the negative aspects of horse racing, as has been the case this past week, is just irresponsible.

What about all the good stories? In recent years, racing was in Vogue, both figuratively and literally as Rachel Alexandra was actually featured in Vogue magazine in 2009.  People especially enjoyed following Zenyatta and other horses. Now, all of a sudden, horse racing is the worst sport in the world?

While there are some who are in the game for the business aspect of it, and some may have unscrupulous practices, there are many, many participants who are in this sport because they love the game, the horses, the people and the overall big picture.

There are countless beautiful moments: Watching a horse joyfully cross the finish line when he or she knows they are the best; Watching a proud jockey in the winner’s circle; Being an owner for the first time and feeding your special horse carrots or mints; Sharing a special moment with your horse.

There are many positive aspects to this sport that people should take the time to understand. The majority of people in this game are passionate, warm and they would take a bullet for their beloved equines. In addition, these folks take care of their own – even the fans. A group of racing fans lost a fellow racing fan friend last year and now are raising money to help send his daughter to college.

Sorry, but I’ll take beautiful animals, kind and passionate humans, and the beauty of this amazing game over spoiled players, lockouts, strikes, and the rest of what some “major” sports offer any day of the week,  twice on Sunday and three times on the first Saturday in May.

Heather is an IT professional, freelance writer and soon to be lawyer living in Northern California. She is also a Thoroughbred owner and is involved in fan organizations such as the Facebook Racing Group and ThoroFan.

Rachel Alexandra/NYRA photo