Thursday, May 1, 2014

Guest Post: Conflicted Feelings About the Kentucky Derby

Hello from Kentucky!

As last year’s guest blogger did such an atrocious job (yes you Justin), I decided to try my hand at exploring the rich traditions of the Kentucky Derby. I also know nothing about blogging so I stole Justin from Lexington's idea to write in letter form as well. I won't be stealing anything else from him. I don't think he has anything else of value.

In all honesty, I have vast knowledge about any large number of things. The Derby isn't one. But I do know how I feel about the beauty and the ugliness of it all. Round these parts, horse racing is serious business!  Trust me when I tell you that nothing in Kentucky is more important than horses. Except college basketball. And Bourbon. How bout them Wildcats!! Doesn't Mila Kunis look hot in all those Jim Beam ads?

But I digress. Which happens frequently.

In all honesty, the horse racing industry comes with a shit load of problems. Even simple folks like me know that it’s, well...shady. I mean, it’s almost unforgivable. In the name of tradition, race horses are routinely abused. Sure, the ones you see running in the Derby are retired to a beautiful farm in the hills surrounding Lexington, put out to stud, to live in a sexual horse heaven.

But what about the average guy, uh horse? Sadly, if he's lucky, he'll be sold to a farm somewhere and become the "dream come true" for some child. If he isn't lucky, and most aren't, he will suffer with untold injuries from his racing days and be "put out of his misery" when the next horse comes along. He could be sent to a glue factory. Glue factory? Is that true?

We here in Kentucky tend to live in a fantasy world about the true life of a horse. We imagine that these sweet, sweet animals are all going to that perfect little farm in the country. We have to think this way. To truly pull the blinds back would mean giving up our traditions and heritage. So, we refuse to address it. Arguing with a Kentucky native (which I am not, but my 35 yrs here makes me a Kentuckian at heart) about the cruelties of the horse industry is akin to challenging our "We Are College Basketball" stance. It simply isn't done.

So, this weekend as you enjoy the rich heritage and tradition of the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Juleps, the hats, the bourbon, that are on display for all to see, remember that for every Derby horse you see, there are 10,000 who will be abused. We here in Kentucky will stay oblivious to the truth. 

The "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" would be a great way to bring a national discussion to the forefront. It won't though. I have a secret belief that the REAL issue is tied to rich men and their need to see that the best horse gets the most action in his second career. Stud fees.

Enjoy the Derby!!!

Shirley Terrell


I'm With Stupid said...

I hope that each jockey beats each horse furlong by furlong in hopes of bringing out the best in them. That is what America is about. Cheers!!


I'm With Stupid said...

I am a horse racing expert, but I play dumb and just root for the Arkansas Derby winner each year. It's important to do that so I can hustle the old timers hanging out at the track.

Game respects game.

Thanks Shirley! Great job!


jAMiE said...

Well said, Shirley...seems like a cruel sport when all is said and done..except for those lucky few.

I will be thinking about all the less fortunate horses this weekend as I watch the Derby, because I will be watching.

Mike said...

Glue factory? How about fine dining establishments in France?

Edyta said...

The Mila Kunis ads are absolutely stunning... After two bottles of Jim Bean that is. Clever marketing, I say :)