Saturday, May 3, 2008

it was a BITTERsweet day for the filly...

("eight belles")

when i have travelled outside the states or conversed with people i've met from other parts of the world, the state of kentucky strikes 2 chords with most...

fried chicken


the kentucky derby...

well, today is derby day here in the bluegrass state; and the race was run almost exactly one hour ago. john and i have never failed to "oooooh" and "awwwwwwe" over all the horses pre-race and then, of course, watch the race.

the "run for the roses" is as beautiful as it is exciting. today was no exception.

we had a favorite... the filly, "eight belles", the only female in the race!!! she was also trained by one of our

"home-towners", LARRY JONES.

"big brown" was the odds on favorite. and, though he'd only ever run (won) three races, the less experienced two-year-old won!!!

however, guess which horse came in second???

you guessed it!!!


the filly held her own...

as we watched all the excitement unfold around "big brown", the camera quickly panned to EIGHT BELLES who lay on the track..

still on her side...

my heart skipped a beat and then became heavy.


"what's wrong with her, john?" i asked, "do you think she had a heart attack???"

about that time two veterinary ambulances pulled up next to her.

the camera went back to "big brown" who seemed to have thrown his jockey. the jockey got back on the beautiful winner as the excitement increased around the horse.

the camera went back to an nbc reporter who was standing with the track horse vet.

"unfortunately, we are going to have to report that "eight belles" broke both of her front ankles and had to be euthanized..."

"unfortunately is an understatement!!!"

i have been just heartbroken about the whole situation...

what turned out to be an awesome day for kentucky's darling girl ended in devastation.

it is believed that "big brown" threw his jockey because he had been "spooked" by the death of his running mate, the girl...





my prayers go out to those that have had both the honor and pleasure of spending time with the beautiful girl. the only solace is that she is no longer in pain and will not have to endure all previous derby winner, "barbaro", did...

love and blessings,

dani xx


Moonpie said...

Oh, D---I just cried! I couldn't believe it. I have such a sick feeling!!!

dani said...

did you see it live??? i'm setting here crying now... it's just sick:.(
love you for crying with me!!!

E and T said...

Ohh Dani

What an absolute tragedy. It's a story of triumph that went so horribly wrong.

How and when did Eight Belles break her ankles?

I am so sorry that her life ended in this way. It just doesn't seem right.

Sending big hugs to you. I wish I could think of something to say to help cheer you up my friend.

Love and hugs

dani said...

i'm better, elise... thank you.
eight belles ran in the derby this afternoon (saturday usa). she finished the race and when the jockey was pulling her up (whatever that means) her ankles gave way throwing her jockey (he is ok) but breaking both her ankles (one was a compound fracture). the sadness of it all is that it all happened right after her victory of finishing second in the race.
i'm such a sap...
love and hugs,
dani xx

Tanya said...

Oh how bitter sweet!! such a terrible thing to happen... hope you are feeling better Dani!!

The time here (when I posted) is 9pm Sunday night! wishing you a better day tomorrow, sending big hugs your way!!

Tanya xx

Emma-Kate Castricum said...

Oh Dani,

Yes it's heartbreaking when these things happen.

We have had race horses on and off for yrs and back when I was a filly myself I rode track. Unfortunatly these things can happen with race horses. What you have to say to yourself is, while that horse is racing and in work they are treated like gold and have such wonderful 'horse lives'. It's always tragic when a horse breaks down though.


Tabitha said...

Oh Dani, how sad, We have the Grand National over here in the UK once a year and I always watch it ~ but it is heartbreaking if a horse dies ~ I hate it.
Hope you are feeling a bit better now ~ hope that the hugs I am sending from me Dan and Lauren will make you feel better

dani said...

yes, i'm feeling better today. the local news last night (saturday us) was a tear-jerker, though.
as i said in my blog. eight belles' trainer lives here in henderson (a very small town in ky). he was just breaking during his interview.
he had two fillies in this weekend's racing events... "eight belles" and "proud spell" (owned by our governer). proud spell won the kentucky oaks on friday; so, it was very bittersweet for him.
as i told elise above, i am a sap. but, thank you for caring about this sap:D
love and hugs,
dani xx

dani said...

thank you for your kind words of horse wisdom:D i find joy in them that eight belles had great care given to her. many animals do not. and, as i said there is a lot to be said for humanely puting down an animal in pain...
when i wrote yesterday it was on raw emotion. if she had been my horse, it would still be raw emotion today. but, she is not.
although i am still sad for all who loved her and put their hopes and dreams into her, i know she ran the race of her life against 19boys. and, having come in second place, she ran the race of her life. she went out a winner!!!
thanks again, em...
love and hugs,
dani xx

dani said...

those virtual hugs from you, daniel, and little lauren did the trick!!!
you should see me watch "old yeller", "where the red fern grows", etc... it's not pretty sight, lol.
sunday is a much, much better day!!!
love and hugs,
dani xx

Amanda said...

Oh, i'm so sorry to hear that, it's just so sad. You have managed to bring a tear to my eye. I hate hearing of a horse getting killed in that way - thats why i can't bring myself to watch the horse racing.

{{hugshugs}} sent to you. xxxxx

Amanda x

dani said...

thank you, amanda,
sorry it made you cry, too. i couldn't not blog about the filly. she did such an incredible job with the odds weighing heavily against her!!!
it just turned out to be a tragedy as well...
many hugs sent back your way,
dani xx

Little Sweethearts said...

Oh Dani,

I'm so sorry to hear about Eight Belles. I wasn't expecting a sad ending to this post as I was already cheering for the girl.

I'm glad that you're already feeling a little better. Sometimes a good cry can really help.


dani said...

i am much better, tania. thank you. and, yes, the cry helped... both times;)
i just hope i don't have to witness anything like that again for a very long time!!!
love and hugs,
dani xx