I’ve been “that horse girl” for as long as I can remember. For me, Black Beauty was canon and a pony was at the top of every birthday list from the moment I could form words. I may or may not subscribe to four different horse-themed magazines, and I won’t even tell you what’s in my video queue (hint: it rhymes with Schmear it: Scallion of the Cimarron).
People are always taken aback when I tell them how much I hate the Kentucky Derby. Like, hate it. But how could I not after what almost happened to my baby, Timely?
Timely was born in Kentucky to a small-time, “responsible” breeder. His sire was a well-known and moderately successful racer, and his mother had thrown similarly moderately successful foals. He was one of just the handful of colts they’d bred that year, and before his first birthday had passed his racing career had begun.
There was only one problem: Timely didn’t like to run.
Sure, he looked impressive galloping in the fields with other yearlings, but he just wasn’t competitive. He was considered, in fact, too sweet towards his fellow horses. Somehow this meant he was useless—Timely was simply too expensive to keep as a companion. There was only one thing left for him, as for the thousands of other “useless” racehorses bred each year: an early grave met at the slaughterhouse.
Luckily, a desperate last-minute call brought him to the attention of my trainer at the time, and an introduction to me soon followed. It was love at first sight, and we have been best friends ever since.
He still has some old remembrances of his racing days:
- A tattoo bar-code on the inside of his lip
- Perpetual back problems
- Suspicion towards anyone of diminutive size equipped with a whip
—But he is finally safe at his forever home.
So horse-lovers of the world, unite! Denounce the industry that would turn a unicorn into dog food if she couldn’t run fast enough! Trust me, Black Beauty will thank you.