Last Wednesday I went to a luncheon at a horse racing track. It was supposed to be a fun lunch where women where hats and network. I wasn't crazy about the hat part, I went for the networking.
I only bet once, a Quinella on the 4th race in which both of my horses came dead last. Ah, well, not traumatizing. At least they were pretty and had nice uniform colors. What happened two races later, now that was traumatic.
During the 6th race, something happened to horse number 7, and he tripped, falling to his knees, wrenching his head and neck to his breast and throwing his rider. Horse number 4 was so close behind him that he tripped over the rider, also fell and threw his rider. Both the horses got up quickly and dispersed, number 7 running after the rest of the horses down the track and number 4 just kind of getting away from the scene.
Number 7 was fine. But number 4, he limped. And I knew that very second that his leg was broken and he'd have to be put down. I just didn't realize they'd do it right there. Right then. In front of me.
Some track people gathered number 4 and held him by the reigns. Two other workers were bringing a green tarp and began to raise it to sheild the horse from public view. My colleague started to ask "what is the tarp fo-" and before it was completely raised so that Club Level couldn't see beyond it, a man pointed a gun at the horse's head and the horse fell to the ground. Seven minutes from leg break to dead.
Now THAT is traumatic. I'm happy the track is closing this year. I don't think I could ever go back. It's just too sad that once a horse has a broken leg he's a gonner.