Archive for March 2014

I have spent the last few days agonizing over writing this post about the report alleging over-medication and cruelty to Thoroughbred race horses released by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). My emotions have fluctuated from rage to mourning to optimism. And that last emotion is the one that is driving me now.

I will not comment about PETA’s report for several reasons. I refuse to watch the video that was compiled regardless of what it does or does not show. I will not give any personal thoughts on PETA. At all. How I feel about the organization has no bearing on what is happening.

I am going to simply give you, the reader, an opportunity to understand what I, solely as a fan of the sport, hopes will be the result from all that has happened since Thursday.

Think of something you have loved your entire life. Something that never lingers far from your mind. Something that lifts your mood and has often covered you in goosebumps or moved you to tears of joy. That is what Thoroughbred horse racing is for me.

Now imagine knowing that this one thing has a dark side. A dark side from people who don’t give the sport and the horses the respect and care that both deserve. I cannot describe the anguish it has caused me and fans exactly like me who would give anything to be involved in the sport. We know that there are aspects of the sport that are broken. We acknowledge that until these sweeping changes are made we face a future that could include the utter demise of this elegant and thrilling sport full of heart and pageantry.

We look to and depend on those who are doing everything within their power to help make these changes. Dallas & Donna Keen come to my mind immediately.

Donna Keen (photo credit Terri Cage photography)

Donna Keen (photo credit Terri Cage photography)

Their dedication and care of their horses extends further at Remember Me Rescue. They actively take the next logical step helping rescue OTTB’s and find them lifelong homes.

Spanky @ Remember Me Rescue. Before & after. Enough said!

Spanky @ Remember Me Rescue. Before & after. Enough said!

None of the long days and nights, tears, sweat or cuddling that takes place at Remember Me and other rescues like them are ever shown by PETA or in a New York newspaper. They work tirelessly knowing the reward has hooves and the knowledge that their health and happiness is the ultimate result.

Again, I am not lucky enough to be hands on with these horses every day. But I have this blog. I have social media. And sometimes it’s the smallest voices that collectively are the loudest.

I personally think the following changes need to be made and hope that those with the power to make these changes take all of this to heart. None of these items are rocket science. These items are focused on the most important fact. The HORSE is what matters:

  1. The aftercare of OTTB’s must be addressed. The fact that so many of these hard-trying horses wind up in a slaughterhouse is unacceptable and tragic. The non-profit organizations working so hard to save these souls need help. Need funding. Need feed. How much revenue for this one aspect of the sport could be raised if a mere one half of a percent of every dollar spent at public auctions of Thoroughbreds was earmarked for OTTB’s? In 2013 Keeneland alone had receipts of over $530M. Do the math.
  2. Medication must be controlled by one governing body. Medication rules must be uniform across the board. Everyone has the same rules at every track in every state. There is no grey area.
  3. Stewards at all tracks must have the power to take information from past performances and track veterinarians and determine when enough is enough. Certainly there are war horses out there who thrive on really hard work. However, a horse that runs three times in a month never crossing the wire closer than 15 lengths from the winner should not be run back.
  4. Limit stud books to less than 100 mares per year. The grand scheme is to improve the breed. Enough is enough with these massive books each and every year.

I highly recommend all of you on Twitter check out the #FullStoryPeta. See both sides of the story and think for yourselves.

Horse racing and the Thoroughbreds we love are the focus of another media nightmare and the only way to combat it is to move actively in a direction that promotes the true elegance of both.

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Me on Twitter.

Remember Me Rescue on Facebook.

Donna Keen on Twitter.

I’ve recently been on eBay. A lot. Hub notices every time. Mainly because packages start arriving. Like daily.

Hub: You got another package.

Me: YAY!

Hub: What are you buying?

Me: Things on eBay.

Hub: Can you be more specific?

Me: Do you want like serial numbers or….

Then he sighed and left the room. Most of what I’ve purchased has been my mission to increase the number of FIRM workouts I own. I had to re-purchase everything I owned on VHS in the DVD format because our VCR broke and it was dumb to replace it. So I started with the Original 6 and then I got more…and more…then I started this ball buster of a 90-day rotation and in several categories I only had two titles and so I really needed more.

This is a photograph of future success people.

This is a photograph of future success people.

Since it is generally acceptable to leave feedback for people on eBay I tried to be a good e-commerce participant and leave feedback for everyone. But how many “thank you, A+” feedbacks are out there? Try 65,351,519. Approximately. I decided to spice this up:

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Now I have to go buy more stuff on eBay. Don’t tell Hub.

You remember Michelle Miles from my post earlier this week, right? If not go check it out! We had lunch today and stuffed ourselves with Mexican food and talked about people we don’t like and generally enjoyed being the most awesome people there. The place was kind of empty so we were automatically the coolest ones. So now I smell like wood smoke and queso. Let me also pat myself on the back for not gorging myself. Usually I do and as I’m re-learning to eat and be healthy I have to remember to push the stupid plate away…which I did!

So I get back to the office and dove into the stuff I needed to wrap up before the end of the day and put The Empire Strikes Back into my computer for background noise. And then I hear the line that Luke looks strong enough to pull the ears off of a gundar. “What does a gundar look like anyway?” I think and am surprised this has never before crossed my mind. (I am a full time nerd.)

I guess he looks strong...

I guess he looks strong…

I have Google which, of course, means I can find anything anytime I want to. So I type “What does a gundar look like?”

This was an enormous mistake, folks.

This is an example of what I got (edited for content and size for the sake of your eyes and because I’m already going to have nightmares of some kind and ALSO the guy on the right is wearing a loin cloth {sort of} and it’s really hard to see but I did NOT POST nudity because, trust me, I cut that out and you don’t want to see it because it’s super duper horrifying and even cropping the photo made me feel ‘off’ and not in a good way):


 

No. Just... NO!

No. Just… NO!

 

I immediately message Hub:

ME: Why didn’t you warn me not to Google about random Star Wars creatures because I don’t know what the hell a “gundar” is but do not go looking for one.

HUB: Excuse me??

ME: Luke looks strong enough to pull the ears off a gundar so I went looking for one and I shouldn’t have. (sending him the link)

HUB: Nick.

ME: Well I don’t care what a “gundar” is or supposed to actually be because after that I’m just going to swear off Googling. In my mind I’m going to just imagine a gundar is a weird badly tempered rabbit. Cos we are talking about Luke.

HUB: Nick.

ME: Especially since he’s gotta be strong enough to pull its ears off which, frankly, is kind of mean. So this badly tempered rabbit must be really difficult to deal with.

HUB: NICK! Your first mistake is that it is an “gundarK”.

ME: Motherfucker! What??

HUB: Go try that one.

ME: I’m scared to.

HUB: I think you are safe on this one.

ME: (after Googling) OMG it’s a damn CHUPACABRA!!!!!!

HUB: Not really.

ME: It really kind of is except for the feet part.

HUB: Okay. I see where this is going and I gotta go. See you tonight.

Much more appealing.

 

Now that's what I'm talking about.

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

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I’m excited to announce that my extremely talented sister-in-law, Michelle Miles, is releasing her new book today!

She’s having a giveaway on her blog. USA Today featured the book yesterday. And you can buy it on Amazon right here.

Congratulations, Michelle!

 

Disclaimer:  An elderly member of our family recently announced he took a “facey” with his phone………… to which I replied “EXCUSE ME?” and after a 15 minute description which I only needed approximately 30 seconds of I realized he meant “selfie”. So we’ve adopted “facey” into our family.

Next………. my Kittie behaves exactly like my husband. (Who is her father so….yeah)….. Sometimes that’s awesome. Most of the time it means I’m the odd man out. See below as we group text while the Kittie sits waiting to kite to Europe:

a

 

b

c

 

d

How does this keep happening to me?

Actual conversation:

“In the Army, sometimes you fly really, really high. They send them guys up there. They put’em in a ‘kidney suit’. It keeps all your innards from bustin’ out. They fly them in this plane. It’s called a Hurkeyjurkey or sumthin’. Hurkey plane. Something Boeing makes. A C-class. That’s it like a C-class Hurkeyjurkey.”

The ENTIRE time these words are falling out of his face it was like I could see them hanging in the air and I have a pencil and I’m editing for content… Such as:

“In the Army, sometimes you fly really, really high.  They send them those guys up there. They put’em in a ‘kidney suit’ no they don’t. no such thing. It keeps all your innards from bustin’ out.(false)  They fly them in this plane. It’s called a Hurkeyjurkey or sumthin’. Hurkey plane. Hercules Something Boeing Lockheed makes. A C-class. (no) That’s it like a C-class Hurkeyjurkey.C-130 Hercules. Close enough.

Not a "Hurkeyjerkey".

Not a “Hurkeyjerkey”.

I spend a lot of time just nodding at people because wow. I can’t.