For The Love of A Horse


One of the few things I remember from my Psychology 101 lecture class was this touching story the Professor told all 500 of us one Spring day in 1987.

When Professor was twelve years old, growing up in a bad part of Chicago (his parents were loving, hard-working and poor) his class took a field trip to the Kentucky Derby. He was beyond excited, because he had watched The Derby every year since he could remember.

Sure, he liked the pomp and pageantry. He liked the celebrations and the nostalgia. But he really loved the horses, each and every one, year after year. He loved their names. He loved studying their pedigree. He imagined, all those years sitting inches from the television screen, what it would feel like to be close to a race horse, to see its nostrils flare, to see the shine of sweat on its hide. The sinewy grace laced with pure, raw power of a horses' body never ceased to amaze him.

So, when his class arrived at The Derby and he found out they would view the big race from the inner field, he was excited. He spent the whole time wrangling the crowd, attempting to stay as close to the fence as he could. He would give anything to be mere feet from those beloved horses.

After hours of waiting, the time for the Big Race finally came. And then the greatest 2 minutes in sports was over in a flash. The horse he had bet on didn't even finish in the top half. He'd had a hard time seeing parts of the race because he was short and the crowd was pressing in at the fence. He should have felt elated that he'd gotten to experience the beloved Derby. But he felt quite the opposite.

It wasn't that he didn't love the day. It wasn't that he was ungrateful for the trip. He felt broken-hearted because the crowd on the inner field was nothing like he'd expected. It was a bawdy drunk fest. Dirt and alcohol overtook the pageantry. He'd endured drunks for hours. And when it came down to the two minutes he'd wait his whole life for, he was nearly knocked unconscious by a flying beer can. A can threw by a drunk man. A can meant to hit one of those magnificent horses.

To be continued.....


Dianne :

Just catching up on your blog...hope you've had a great week. That is an adorable picture of your son from a few days ago and sorry about the ding in your husband's fender...sounds just like something I would do!

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