Sunday, January 16, 2011

Warwick Redux

So I wrote this super depressed post about going to Warwick to watch some steeplechasing yesterday and watching a horse die in the second race, but I've realized that I'm not really ready to organize my thoughts about the whole incident or articulate those thoughts cogently. I was very deeply troubled and saddened by it, but know that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than I was party to and so don't really want to say anything that I know will sound skewed or hysterical (which is kind of how I'm feeling) and will easily be taken out of context.

So, instead here are my pictures from the day without the write up. It was truly wonderful to get to see so many beautiful horses in action, with all the more miserable parts of the day aside, and I had a wonderful time trying to catch just a fraction their indescribable beauty.

(double portrait)


(I love the expression on the jockey's face - you can almost hear him growling)

(Bath time after a race well run)

(My favorite horse of the day by far - currently trying to work out how to fit him in my check luggage to bring him home)

(The light was pretty low so I got to do a lot of panning practice - it's still a lot more luck than skill, but I'm getting better!)

(My favorite horse again)

(This one was pretty drool-worthy as well)

(Kind, wise old soul)

(yummy flat knees, gorgeous big symmetrical feet, and the sweetest intelligent face - he wasn't a winner, so you can just leave him with me!!)

(Now that looks like fun!)

(Unfortunately this horse fell at the last, but both he and his rider were uninjured, and the horse actually finished the race and trotted all the way back to the weighing area before he was caught - what a clever boy)

(So regal)

(British groom outfits = the best)

(Some nice glimpses of sunshine)

(A beautiful worrier)

(The stars of the show)

(Soo kind and intelligent I can barely stand it)

(Serious "look of eagles")

(OMG!! How cute can you get??)

(One of the many fulmer-outfitted horses, just like Kiki! Now Kiki just needs a big fluffy shadow roll and the ability to jump 4'6" at 800mm, and they can be twins)

(Striking poses in the wash bay)

(Tall, dark, and handsome)

(Comply or Die! 2008 Grand National winner)

(Phew - a long day and emotionally fraught of racing complete)

My parents got to talk to Suzi about Ringo and Kiki last night, so I'll give a full update (short version: all is well! Phew!!!) when I'm feeling a little less drained.


Karen said...

Stunning photos. These horses look significantly taller than our US racing thoroughbreds. Would you say that is true? Sorry to hear about the tragedy ... must have been horrific and heartbreaking. :-(

Katherine Erickson said...

Thank you! These horses are significantly older than the average American flat racer, ranging from 5 to 11 or 12, so I think that could explain the size difference- they definitely looked much more "filled out" than I was used to in a racehorse. Also since they are chasers, they are a little more solid of bone than a pure flat horse would be.

Checkmark115 said...

AMAZING photos! It's almost like I was there. They are stunning animals! My fav is the tall and handsome one, he reminds me of my horse. They all are beautiful though. So sorry about the horse, that must have been horrid to see :(

Deered said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katherine Erickson said...

There is no place in this post where where I talk about the reaction of the crowd or make any sort of judgement claims between the US and the UK. In fact, the only thing that I try to make clear in this post is the concession that yes, I got it, there was more going on in terms of response than met the eye.

It seems like you're responding to my deleted post of this morning, which I have fully admitted was hysterical and skewed... which is why it got deleted. I had hoped I'd made that clear by deleting my original writeup, and so I'm frankly a little upset that you've chosen to come on and give me this lecture when I've made it as clear as I can within the mysterious world of the interwebz that those aren't my actual views and that I have no interest whatsoever in discussing the situation at this time.

I was deeply saddened by the death of the horse, which I hoped wouldn't have to be something that I had to defend. I wasn't sad because I thought that the system was cruel or because some human was being abusive; I was sad because an animal that consider to be of the most beautiful and precious type on this planet died suddenly and gruesomely right in front of me. I'm not trying to blame anyone in my grief; I'm sorry it has appeared otherwise.

I'm sorry to be such a crank, because I really do usually enjoy hearing a wide variety of opinions in my comments, but in this case I've tried to make it clear that I don't want to talk about it and I'd like that request respected. I would have merely deleted the first post in its entirety if I thought I was still going to get the same sorts of comments. I just wanted to share my photographs, which were the only positive light for in an otherwise very dark day. I don't want to argue at all.

Thank you.

Deered said...

I think I started reading your inital post as I went away then came back and commented on you 2nd post - I should have paid more attention to what I was reading.

I apologise for causing offense.

On a happier note, you've got a great eye with the camera, and have some awesome photos.

Deered said...

Oh - and I meant to add, if you can find away to put a horse in your checked luggage, could you pleease parcel up the bay with the #1 saddle cloth, and the chestnut with the shadow roll and fulmer snaffle - I'm sure they would look good at my place!

Katherine Erickson said...

Thank you very much for your apology - and yes, if I figure out a way to do it, I'll keep you posted! =)

Heidi said...

Gorgeous pictures! I'll take the adorable chestnut with the big white blaze, please :-)

Checkmark115 said...

I'm commenting again! Just to say that damn, I would never want to get in an argument with you, you sure know how to say it girl :). No offense Deered, she can just really say it, without getting all huffy like most people (me included).
Secondly, and aptly I think (because of the pictures), I nominated your blog for an award. Come by and get it at my blog if you want!

Scopey said...

Breaking lurk here to say, What wonderful photos, and, Yes, isn't it jarring to watch your first steeplechase? It's a very, very hard thing to do well, and so many ride the horses only on race day. How'd you like to try it on a horse you've never met? And, now that you've seen it first hand, if you don't already know him, go get the novels of Dick Francis. He was a superstar NH jockey and wrote a huge number of very readable thrillers almost always set in British horse racing world. Rule of thumb: start with the ones where the protagonist is a jockey.

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