“Every horse should be able to run full speed, and know all the beauty and wonder of its strength.” – Hafiz
In 1973 the Thoroughbred stallion Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes–setting a speed record for that race that still stands today–and securing the Triple Crown. The video of this race is iconic:
Ridden by a fair and steady hand, Secretariat races against himself, running with ease, grace, and commanding power. He embodies pure athleticism and excellence. So much so, that even nonhorse people are enthralled by this unstoppable Thoroughbred.
A horse in motion is beautiful, and a group of galloping horses; thrilling. Epic racing moments like Secretariat’s win do not justify any inhumane or inadequate treatment rendered upon race horses. They don’t make indiscretions against young Thoroughbreds “okay.” Yet in this historic moment, a single horse captured the attention, appreciation, and love of millions of people. People who may otherwise never meet a horse or experience its wonder.
Tomorrow, millions of people–including people who infrequently think of horses–will watch a new generation of Thoroughbreds running in all their glory. For some, it might just be about trying to cash in on a bet. But I’ll bet for many, it’s really about a chance to see greatness. An opportunity to see a horse as the impressive animal it is–one that will carry the hopes and dreams of the people in its life from start to finish.