Conflicted: The best way I can describe how American Pharaoh’s Triple Crown victory has left me.
Sure, part of me thrilled to see that horse storm down the stretch at Belmont. That part remembers being a 10-year-old girl and reading The Black Stallion, The Black Stallion’s Filly, Son of the Black Stallion, The Island Stallion Race, and I’ll stop there.
In fifth grade, I had written essays about growing up to become a horse trainer. (In retrospect, it might have been a better career than journalism.) But I ran afoul of the school principal when she told us a parable about a horse named Dark Star who won the Kentucky Derby and, she said, beat Man o’ War.
Her point was, we children needed to have faith, no matter the odds, but school principals need to do their homework when they tell little girls a tall tale about horses. Of course, I stood up to tell her, Man o’War never ran in the Kentucky Derby. He only lost one race in his career. Upset beat him. Dark Star did win the Derby in 1953 – after Man o’ War was dead.
OK. 10-year-old girls and horses.
But since then, I learned about horse racing and even went to the track to see a race. I mostly saw a betting business that exploits animals and results in their injury and death.
Sunday morning pundits wanted to know if American Pharaoh’s Triple Crown would revitalize the sport.
I sure hope not.
And I take heart from this small sign. Before the race, Bob Costas took the viewers into the New York Daily Newsplant and showed some newspapers rolling off the presses.
That’s right – newspapers.
What would tomorrow’s headline say? he wondered.
Newspapers? Headlines? It could be a fallible sign, but I say this. Cheers to American Pharaoh, and horse racing is as over as the cuckoo clock.
Since I’m on the subject of horses, the wild ones in the West are enjoying a rare break. According to Grace Kuhn, with the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the Nevada Department of Agriculture has agreed to an adoption deal.
In urgent need of forever homes, Kuhn said, are two stallions – Rojo and Waylon – and their families. Contact Karen Vineis, the Let “Em Run Foundation coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-741-4771, if you can help.
“Rojo looks after two paint mares with one paint filly, two sorrel mares with a paint and sorrel colt, a lead bay mare and a few yearlings,” Kuhn said, “which brings his large family to 11.” Let Em Run Foundation wants to keep them together, perhaps on a sanctuary, she said.
Then there’s Waylon.
“Waylon is an all-American stallion captured from the USA Parkway area of the Virginia Range, Kuhn said. “He has a velvety sorrel coloring and his age is unknown. His family consists of two mares, two fillies, two colts, and two geldings ages 2-3. Let Em’ Run would also like to place this bonded family in a setting where they can remain together. “
Kuhn is the point person for calls about adopting two young horses, Bo and Rio.
“Bo is a two to three-year old black gelding, standing at 14.2 hands and still growing,” she said. “He is very calm and curious, has very nice conformation and is making great progress in halter training. His friend Rio is 1-2 years old, and about 13.5 hands with a lot of growing to do. He is very sweet and extremely smart. Bo and Rio are available as a pair or as individuals for adoption.”
Finally, Boris Kitty, dear friend of Asia, the tabby, Gabby and Charlie, the black cat, needs a little prayer and well-wishes. If ever a kitty tried to help other cats in need, Boris (@BorisKitty) is that kitty. Tuesday, he came home from the vet’s office to rest and, of course, work on his new summer reading list. If he’s up to an interview, Gabby will have his story soon.
Have a tip or story idea? E-mail Margo Ann Sullivan at TheGabbyDog@gmail.com and follow The_Gabby_Dog on Twitter.
Want more animal antics and updates? Check out The Gabby Dog archives.
Margo Ann Sullivan is a pet columnist who has written for ZooToo, and numerous publications in New York and in New England. She’s had pets all her life, starting with a rescue collie named Lollypop. The Gabby Dog column chases the news that helps pets and people. It also chronicles the adventures of Gabby, the peke-a-poo, and Asia, the tabby cat, and their many pals, hitting the high spots between Providence, RI, and Manchester, NH.
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