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texang73
Oct. 27, 2007, 05:52 PM
What a damn shame...:(

Iride
Oct. 27, 2007, 05:54 PM
I cry, I cry

Glimmerglass
Oct. 27, 2007, 05:55 PM
Indeed :(

Perhaps he'll be buried at M/M Roy Jackson's farm where he was born.

The connections supposedly had nothing to lose by running him but there are always risks in running. What a damn shame to "Gorgeous George" and capping off one of the worst BC runnings for the Euros.

hundredacres
Oct. 27, 2007, 05:55 PM
The 2 races my little girl has watched with me....Barbaro's breakdown and this one.

Godspeed GW ~~

ElonGrad1997
Oct. 27, 2007, 05:55 PM
I'm heartsick.

God speed GW. :(:cry:

Drvmb1ggl3
Oct. 27, 2007, 05:57 PM
Indeed :(

Perhaps he'll be buried at M/M Roy Jackson's farm where he was born.



He was bred and foaled in Ireland.
The Jacksons have mares in England and Ireland as well as the US.

Kenike
Oct. 27, 2007, 05:58 PM
My screaming and goofing off immediately turned to "uh oh," and then tears when they said he was euthanized.

Gah, sometimes I hate this sport, despite loving it and the animals....

Pronzini
Oct. 27, 2007, 05:59 PM
This is probably not fair but it always bothers me a little when they try to come back to a Grade 1 level after retiring a horse.

I'm looking at his PPs. Why were they so convinced that dirt was his forte? Not every horse is Sakhee or Giant's Causeway.

As for what the Jacksons are going through, well I have no words. What a shame.

Iride
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:00 PM
Why can't this be a bad dream?

pinkdiamondracing
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:00 PM
Jingles to George--how sad to have been retired and then brought back to racing only to have the worst happen:(:cry::sadsmile::no:

dressagetraks
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:01 PM
RIP, GW. He was indeed a gorgeous horse.

I must admit that "nothing to lose" comment caught my attention the other day. They do indeed always have something to lose, these magnificent athletes.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:03 PM
As for what the Jacksons are going through, well I have no words. What a shame.

I wouldn't assume to know how the Jacksons feel myself. They bred and sent him to auction. Breeders do it all the time as a matter of course. The loss of any horse is shame in and of itself. No need for anyone to emphasize some Barbaro-GW double whammy to them.

BabyGoose
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:05 PM
When was the last Breeders Cup that didn't have a fatal breakdown? It seems like there has been a breakdown for the last three years at least. Is that the case?

Drvmb1ggl3
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:07 PM
RIP, GW. He was indeed a gorgeous horse.

I must admit that "nothing to lose" comment caught my attention the other day. They do indeed always have something to lose, these magnificent athletes.

If that's the case, they shouldn't run any of them.
And he could been put down on the grass as easily as the dirt.

Jesus, give a rest will ye. No need to point fingers. It's amazing, there's hardly a peep out of the forum all week in the run up to the BC, suddenly everyone's got an opinion.

I'll miss him, he was one of my favourite race horses, and always a pleasure to watch.

Ar dheis dé go raibh do h-anam uasal, a Seóirse.

dressagetraks
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:17 PM
I'm not saying they shouldn't run them. It's obvious how much they love to run and put their souls into winning. John Henry at the Million comes to mind.

I'm just saying that what I thought at the time of that comment was, "If I ever have a racehorse, I will NEVER at any time say he has nothing to lose in a race." Because accidents can happen, fortunately rarely, but they can and do. Not that the sport should be cancelled, just that the risks should never be totally dismissed by anybody, connections or media.

texang73
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:20 PM
The loss of any horse is shame in and of itself. No need for anyone to emphasize some Barbaro-GW double whammy to them.

Agreed.

Racing is full of wonderful moments, and tragic ones too.

harvestmoon
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:21 PM
I'm sure when they said that, it was meant as a light thing. Like, "What the heck, why not?" I'm sure they realize that there is always a risk. I dunno, that's how I took it.

dressagetraks
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:23 PM
By the way, was the jockey hurt? I couldn't watch the webcast, don't know if the horse fell or pulled up. Hope the jockey is okay.

regret
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:23 PM
Accidents happen anywhere at anytime. I have had three horses die in the past 3 months. One was running in the pasture and broke her leg, she fell on a yearling colt and killed him. Last week, I had a colt just drinking out of a pond and he was struck by lightening:(. None of them had even made it to the track

Iride
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:27 PM
Accidents happen anywhere at anytime. I have had three horses die in the past 3 months. One was running in the pasture and broke her leg, she fell on a yearling colt and killed him. Last week, I had a colt just drinking out of a pond and he was struck by lightening:(. None of them had even made it to the track

Wow - all within 3 months? So sorry :cry: Hugs :no:

regret
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:41 PM
Wow - all within 3 months? So sorry :cry: Hugs :no:

Yep. :cry::cry:

miss_critic
Oct. 27, 2007, 06:50 PM
It's amazing, there's hardly a peep out of the forum all week in the run up to the BC, suddenly everyone's got an opinion.



Seriously.

2ndyrgal
Oct. 27, 2007, 07:24 PM
please translate the gaelic.

Kenike
Oct. 27, 2007, 07:30 PM
wow, Regret...that's awful! I'm so sorry you've had to endure those losses, especially so close together :no:

I, too, have lost a horse to lightning. Terrible, but at least it was instant. (but it was back in '91). Oddly, he was an OTTB

I'm not poo-poo'ing the racing, either. My mom is convinced genetics is the reason, since he failed in the stud shed, but I know a bad step happens.....everywhere. Even to humans.

grits
Oct. 27, 2007, 07:32 PM
I'm just adding my sorrow and taking some comfort from sharing it. GW has always been a favorite of mine. The sight of his beautiful, open strides today thrilled me as always. It's so painful to me that those were his last.

A rotten day for me and one that has me thinking of Bobby Frankel. My beloved dog died abruptly and mysteriously this morning. I'm cherishing two sets of last strides.

Melelio
Oct. 27, 2007, 07:57 PM
I don't think the complete breakdown was shown on natl. TV. I watched and watched again. He was so far back that the panning of the battling front runners panned away.

I just KNEW, as soon as they said they had a 'situation' on the track that it was GW....ugh....From elation for Curlin to tears for GW. SO ironic that it was a Jackson bred horse...:no::cry:

FairWeather
Oct. 27, 2007, 07:59 PM
We were at the club turn and didnt see anything, though looking at my pictures it looked like he was propping around the first turn and the jock looked uncertain. I didnt see him finish but figured i'd missed it in the excitement and we zoomed out of there immediately after.
RIP sweet boy.

Kenike
Oct. 27, 2007, 08:03 PM
I'm hoping someone will release what did really happen. It wasn't aired, as was already explained, but the vet stated he had an open fracture and dislocation that compromised blood flow, making it an unsalvagable injury. The owner requested he be euthanized immediately.

And while the Jackson connection is there, I have to echo Glimmer that we shouldn't lump GW's demise in with another big name who stole our hearts. We should grieve this loss while keeping him separate from other losses.

FairWeather
Oct. 27, 2007, 08:06 PM
A hotel resident filled me in, they sadly were right in front of him. Poor guy :(

Madeline
Oct. 27, 2007, 08:07 PM
On the other hand, and not that any breakdowns are OK, over the 12 races of the BC, 126 horses started, and as far as I've heard, 125 came back fine....

regret
Oct. 27, 2007, 09:43 PM
wow, Regret...that's awful! I'm so sorry you've had to endure those losses, especially so close together :no:

I, too, have lost a horse to lightning. Terrible, but at least it was instant. (but it was back in '91). Oddly, he was an OTTB

I'm not poo-poo'ing the racing, either. My mom is convinced genetics is the reason, since he failed in the stud shed, but I know a bad step happens.....everywhere. Even to humans.

Thanks. The point is though that a horse can get hurt anywhere doing anything.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 27, 2007, 09:59 PM
UK's Sporting Life 10-27 "GEORGE TRAGEDY AS CURLIN WINS CLASSIC" (http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/breederscup2007/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=racing/07/10/27/manual_225225.html)

Excerpt


O'Brien's wife Anne-Marie was in floods of tears on the rail and was then consoled by her husband as the family walked back into the paddock.

On-course veterinarian and equine joint expert Dr Wayne McIlwraith said George Washington suffered an open fracture of both sesamoid bones.

Dr McIlwraith added: "The decision was made very quickly. The injury was bad and Aidan O'Brien made the request for euthanisation. He was with the horse.

"Typically these injuries occur in the last part of the race. They are more fatigued so they have got less support to the joint.

"And that's when the injuries normally occur."

Kinane said: "He did well to stay up. He was brave. He didn't go down. He stayed up on it. He saved me."

The Sunday Times 10-27 "Breeders agony for O'Brien" (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/global/article2755084.ece)

excerpt


Like any Oscar-winning film star, George Washington would have liked to have presented a better, less bedraggled, profile to the camera on his final outing. He will, however, leave racegoers on this side of the Atlantic with some prodigious memories and real joy at his quirky genius.

:(

jolise
Oct. 27, 2007, 10:24 PM
To the poster who said "126 to start and 125 came back ok". Dangit, its the Breeder's Cup jinx at work again. I cannot remember a year that there wasn't at least one horse lost throughout the course of the day's races. Don't get me wrong, I love horse racing, but I get so nervous watching the Breeder's Cup because of all the bad luck that seems to go with it. Last year, right before the Distaff, I thought "this has been a great day so far, no tragedies, maybe we will have a Breeder's Cup day without loss of a horse"----then Pine Island went down and Fleet Indian was pulled up.
This year, I watched all 3 races yesterday and the whole card of races today and when I saw Curlin pass the finish line, I rejoiced---great day of racing and all the lovely ponies came back ok. Then I saw the horse ambulance and thought "son of a bitch---damn Breeder's Cup jinx----the last horse to near the wire in the last race, not fair" . And somehow I knew it would be very bad news. So sad. I feel bad for the European connections today. Not a nice way for George Washington to end a stellar career.
He seemed to be fading on the final turn, I wonder why his jock didn't pull him up sooner. I am guessing that maybe his jock felt something funny, but may have had no idea what George was supposed to feel like on an unfamiliar surface in the slop. I feel bad for his jockey as well.

lauriep
Oct. 27, 2007, 10:54 PM
There are some pictures here. They are interspersed with the race pictures, so you have to scroll through. http://sports.aol.com/story/_a/breeders-cup-classic-ends-in-tragedy/20071027172709990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

Ibex
Oct. 27, 2007, 11:13 PM
OMG... the second picture... :cry:

JER
Oct. 27, 2007, 11:50 PM
So sad to see this horse go. He was a real character.

grits
Oct. 28, 2007, 10:56 AM
Such a glorious stride! He ran like a gazelle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFV-XTUE3PY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqy6BmV5po8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jUzU60481Y

Tiempo
Oct. 28, 2007, 11:17 AM
Poor, George..he was lovely indeed, I'm heartsick.

Grits, I'm so sorry about your dog :cry:

merrygoround
Oct. 28, 2007, 11:27 AM
Damn it! Life is sad. We pin our hopes and dreams on our, and other lives.

Yet we cannot help mourning when life is too short. :cry:

Countdown
Oct. 28, 2007, 11:27 AM
It's just another fine example of how brutal horse racing truly is. As much as I love the horses and the breeding and time that goes into the sport, its horrible, regardless. I just can't find myself agreeing with the fact that it's ok to run a horse that hard and work them out of their skins as 2 and 3 year olds. And then retire them to stud in hopes of making lots of money, but then GW had fertility issues, so they cant make money off of him that way, so lets go right ahead and race him again. Im not saying these horses dont love racing, etc, but it's just horrible to do this to them, and their legs, at that age, they wern't meant to run and work like that at such a young age. What a shame

Laurierace
Oct. 28, 2007, 11:29 AM
It's just another fine example of how brutal horse racing truly is. As much as I love the horses and the breeding and time that goes into the sport, its horrible, regardless. I just can't find myself agreeing with the fact that it's ok to run a horse that hard and work them out of their skins as 2 and 3 year olds. And then retire them to stud in hopes of making lots of money, but then GW had fertility issues, so they cant make money off of him that way, so lets go right ahead and race him again. Im not saying these horses dont love racing, etc, but it's just horrible to do this to them, and their legs, at that age, they wern't meant to run and work like that at such a young age. What a shame

You couldn't be more wrong, but its not worth arguing about so go on with it.

Slewdledo
Oct. 28, 2007, 02:34 PM
To the poster who said "126 to start and 125 came back ok". Dangit, its the Breeder's Cup jinx at work again. I cannot remember a year that there wasn't at least one horse lost throughout the course of the day's races. .

There is no Breeders' Cup jinx. Line up hundreds of the best horses in the world - the horses who run their guts out - and you'll have injuries.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 28, 2007, 04:41 PM
The comments of UK-based Sporting Life do more justice into the discussion (http://www.sportinglife.com/fanzine/story_get.dor?STORY_NAME=racing/07/10/28/manual_092620.html) or rather the unnecessary need for a discussion on this:


The dirt track, drowned by incessant rain, made to look even uglier by the screens surrounding 'Gorgeous' George.

It was meant to be a celebration - the finest thoroughbreds in the world strutting their stuff on the dirt and the turf fighting for the right to be crowned champions at the 2007 Breeders' Cup.

That all happened of course. Eight new equine heroes had written their names into horse-racing history by the end of the night, but to many it didn't matter.

Some things are more important, and the death of George Washington on the Monmouth Park slop was a tragic end to the life of a brilliant racehorse.

There should be no inquest into why he died.

A simple, if cold, truth is these things happen.

Of course he should have been there racing on the dirt - even in the bog-like conditions. He was a racehorse and an incredibly gifted one at that, and he deserved the chance to show what he could do on one of the greatest stages.

No-one could have anticipated he would break both sesamoid bones that would lead to him being humanely destroyed. It could have happened in a workout on the Curragh, or on good ground in a race at Newmarket.

Yet it happened at the Breeders' Cup, and unfortunately - at least in Europe - this year's championships will be remembered as much for tragedy as it will be for excellence.

For trainer Aidan O'Brien it will be a devastating blow.


Yes, he was a character. Yes, he had a temperament issue. And yes, sometimes, he was frustrating.

But above all he had a rare brilliance, and a supreme talent.

All in all, he was some horse, and one we were lucky to have.

His life at stud may have been short-lived, but a swansong on the track or a happy retirement surely beckoned for this classy Classic winner.

Unfortunately for 'Gorgeous' George, his life came to an ugly end.

I don't see much value in rehashing my original posting on BC thread of "why not point him to a BC turf race" instead of the BCC despite every ounce of logic saying that made more sense. Breakdowns happen and suggesting he should've been sitting in a paddock somewhere would mean his value as a racehorse was done. It clearly wasn't, but racing does have its risks.

EponaRoan
Oct. 28, 2007, 04:59 PM
And he could also have broken his leg in his paddock if he was a successful stud or pasture puff or trail horse. Or in his comfortable stall. Horses are fragile beings. I'm sad that he died, but life is risky. I can't imagine his connections would run him thinking that there was any more risk than the risk one takes everyday with a racehorse or any horse that competes. Heck, it's a risk to go on a trail ride.

Iride
Oct. 28, 2007, 06:38 PM
Breakdowns happen and suggesting he should've been sitting in a paddock somewhere would mean his value as a racehorse was done. It clearly wasn't, but racing does have its risks.

His value as a racehorse may not have been 'done'... but at the same time, you gotta wonder - this horse, who ran successfully, then was retired to stud, and was then not able to reproduce - why & how could he THEN be insured for $20 Million?? Maybe something to do with... nothing to lose? Maybe I'm missing something here and if so clue me in.

Galileo1998
Oct. 28, 2007, 07:00 PM
Have any of you stopped to consider that the "nothing to lose" comment had more to do with risk to George's reputation as a racehorse and potential sire, rather than a risk to his life?

He was a Danehill son and a Classic winner on turf over a mile. If he ran poorly on dirt nobody in his "target market" of European turf mare owners would care - just like they didn't when Galileo ran poorly in the Classic. On the other hand, he might just have pulled off a Giant's Causeway and then had a whole new group of mare owners interested in him. George Washington was NOT infertile, he was subfertile and still young. They still planned on him having a breeding career.

Iride
Oct. 28, 2007, 07:09 PM
George Washington was NOT infertile, he was subfertile and still young. They still planned on him having a breeding career.

Thanks for that explanation. :)

Glimmerglass
Oct. 28, 2007, 07:19 PM
Have any of you stopped to consider that the "nothing to lose" comment had more to do with risk to George's reputation as a racehorse and potential sire, rather than a risk to his life?

Who ever took that comment to mean anything but that? NO ONE with a mind could read into a remark to suggest "his life disposable". However I for one thought he had zero chance to get a price in the BCC. However the much vaulted imports in the turf races were it appears now not fans of a soft course. Good lord the weather and the fact it was going to be soft was strong suggested a week out and reinforeced WELL BEFORE the final selections made. Maybe I'm just viewing it from an American set of eyes but I for one would've hedged by bet with a back up of GW in the turf and not tried to BCC. Just my opinion and obviously moot under the circumstances.

Galileo1998
Oct. 28, 2007, 07:32 PM
Who ever took that comment to mean anything but that? NO ONE with a mind could read into a remark to suggest "his life disposable".

I agree with you totally, but there have been quite a few comments on bulletin boards about it.

George Washington wouldn't have stayed the 1 1/2 miles of the BC Turf in a horsebox so that was out. He was already a Classic winner over 1 mile on the turf in the UK and a European champion two years in a row on the turf. There is nothing else he could accomplish that would have enhanced his turf reputation any further so it doesn't seem that out of line to take a shot at the Classic. It's almost a win/win gamble. If your colt loses nobody in the home target market is surprised or even cares...but if he wins or even goes close it opens up a whole new set of options like it did for Giant's Causeway and Johannesburg.

dressagetraks
Oct. 28, 2007, 07:39 PM
I never thought they meant "his life is meaningless" by nothing to lose. I'm sure they were talking about his racing reputation. I just thought that saying something like that, even in all innocence, seems tempting fate a bit to me, so I would never do it, and I wondered if they had one of those "oh, shouldn't have said that" feelings immediately after saying it. I sure would have. I thought this all well before GW broke down, just when I read that comment.

To me, my reaction to that line (remember, this was BEFORE GW broke down; I'm not trivializing his death) was exactly like the things you never say to your horse thread. Tempting fate too much. Yes, you might get away with it, but I sure wouldn't want to do it myself.

It's a great, though at times tragic, sport, but what in life worthwhile is totally safe? I hope to have a racehorse someday. And when I do, I'll try to make no predictions at all about how good, bad, or meaningless his next performance will be. I'll just enjoy the ride.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 28, 2007, 07:44 PM
George Washington wouldn't have stayed the 1 1/2 miles of the BC Turf in a horsebox so that was out.

The BC Turf Mile is what I was thinking actually. The Georgie Boy of last year would've given Kip a damn nice run and heck when is $1M+ US not worth the effort? Even if Dr. Fager won at a Mile four years running you could be sure his connections would've said - let's do it again ;)

miss_critic
Oct. 29, 2007, 12:02 AM
Maybe they figured Excellent Art had a far better chance? Speaking of the Mile...that Jeremy, I really really thought he was really pretty. Best looking butt!

FairWeather
Oct. 29, 2007, 09:32 AM
Thought i'd share two photos of George walking out from the barns. He looked worried coming out, he was the only one who didnt walk out onto that track and think "I own this place".
Anthropomorphizing, yes, but I believe he knew something was wrong.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fairweather/1797817233/in/set-72157602779258634/

A second after that shot he stopped and just took in the crowd
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fairweather/1797820975/in/set-72157602779258634/

My pictures of him around the clubhouse turn looked funny, even at that point.

Drvmb1ggl3
Oct. 29, 2007, 09:42 AM
Thought i'd share two photos of George walking out from the barns. He looked worried coming out, he was the only one who didnt walk out onto that track and think "I own this place".
Anthropomorphizing, yes, but I believe he knew something was wrong.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fairweather/1797817233/in/set-72157602779258634/

A second after that shot he stopped and just took in the crowd
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fairweather/1797820975/in/set-72157602779258634/

My pictures of him around the clubhouse turn looked funny, even at that point.

You apparently didn't follow his career too closely. He was loved as much for his eccentricity as he was for his looks and sheer brilliance.

On several occasions he refused to walk on the racecourse, most notably in the Irish 2000 Guineas, where he had to be backed out onto the course.

When he ran in the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, there were two other Ballydoyle horses in the race, the fancied, and later ill fated, Horatio Nelson and a horse named Frost Giant. Never heard of Frost Giant? Most haven't, the only reason he was entered in that race was because he was galloping buddy of Gorgeous George and his name started with the letter "F", hence George would have a stable mate in front of him and behind in the paddock and parade.

FairWeather
Oct. 29, 2007, 09:45 AM
You apparently didn't follow his career too closely. He was loved as much for his eccentricity as he was for his looks and sheer brilliance.

You are right, I didn't actually. Wish I had, but only so many hours in a day. I'm glad I got to see him just once.

J. Turner
Oct. 29, 2007, 09:47 AM
He was bred and foaled in Ireland.
The Jacksons have mares in England and Ireland as well as the US.


I thought he was by La Ville Rouge. Did she spend time in Europe?

What a sweet looking horse ... the look in his eyes was just heart breaking ...

Drvmb1ggl3
Oct. 29, 2007, 10:05 AM
I thought he was by La Ville Rouge. Did she spend time in Europe? ...

By a stallion, out of a mare.
George was out of the Alysheba mare, Bordighera.
Bordighera was also the dam of Grandera, who raced for Godolphin. He was also a fairly exceptional horse, winning the Prince of Wales, the Irish Champion Stakes, and was one of the first European horses to contest Australia's top WFA race, the Cox Plate, finishing a strong close 3rd to the great Northerly.

FairWeather
Oct. 29, 2007, 10:08 AM
What was his typical running style? I cannot get Youtube to work from here, but was interested if he was a 'come from behind' kinda guy?

Drvmb1ggl3
Oct. 29, 2007, 10:13 AM
What was his typical running style? I cannot get Youtube to work from here, but was interested if he was a 'come from behind' kinda guy?

He ran covered up and was then produced with 1½f to go for an explosive late burst.
Watch his English 2000 Guineas and the QEII at Ascot to see him at his best..... sublime, just so sublime.

Madeline
Oct. 29, 2007, 10:23 AM
I thought he was by La Ville Rouge. Did she spend time in Europe?

What a sweet looking horse ... the look in his eyes was just heart breaking ...

Wouldn't that make him Barbaro's TWIN brother? who knew?

The things you learn on COTH...

Linny
Oct. 29, 2007, 11:23 AM
GW was bred by the Jacksons but was of no relation to Barbaro. Sad that the two classic winners from the 1st Saturday of last May, bred by the Jacksons are now gone.

sporthorsefilly
Oct. 29, 2007, 12:23 PM
Yes, GW could have broken his leg anywhere, or some other tragic ending could have happened to him...anywhere, or any time. I know that from personal tragic endings.

I've watched horse racing since the 50's. I remember seeing Black Hills and Arcaro go down in the slop in the Belmont (1958?). I've seen Ruffian, Go For Wand, Barbaro and many whose names were not well known...no it doesn't get any easier. It makes me sick.

What is sad, is that a horse who earned $1.5 million couldn't be turned into a nice hunter for someone and given a break. He's a race horse, run 'em. What sometimes happens to race horses, happened to GW.

How terribly sad that 2 wonderful Grade 1 winning horses bred by the Jacksons in the same year, should die after suffering tragic breakdowns. The Jacksons must have more courage than I. Had this happened to my horses, it would have been that last race horse I would breed. Sorry, "thats what makes horse racing" really doesn't stop the emotions.

Kenike
Oct. 29, 2007, 12:37 PM
Wouldn't that make him Barbaro's TWIN brother? who knew?

The things you learn on COTH...

No, it would make him half-brother, different sires, as well. But still not possible since they were born the same year (JC rules).

Sandy M
Oct. 29, 2007, 12:55 PM
I just finished reading "The Great Match Race" by John Eisenberg (whom, I believe wrote the Native Dancer bio?). Anyway.... it does make you wonder. It describes TB racing in the 1820s: 3 and 4 miles HEATS (3 miles for the 4 year olds, 4 miles for older horses), 20-30 minute breaks between, best 2 out of 3. If there were three different winners a fourth heat would be run. It describes one race where one horse was a little "off," so they only raced 2 miles (!). Really brutal compared to today's racing, and yet...the winner of "The Great Match Race" was American Eclipse, 9 years old at the time, and he retired thereafter (having come out of retirement for the race), still sound, lived into his late 20s, early 30s. Makes you wonder.....the premium placed on precocious speed these days, the breeding of horses that are fast but conformationally questionable..... (not saying any of this is true re GW, but just talking of TB racing in general).

dressagetraks
Oct. 29, 2007, 02:19 PM
I hadn't realized Alysheba was GW's broodmare sire. Boy, that brings back memories. My first ever visit to a track was the 1987 Kentucky Derby, trip and tickets given to me as a graduation gift. The Derby wasn't the first race I ever saw live, because it was the 8th or something on the card, but that was the first day of racing I saw live.

Spellbinding. The pageantry of the day, the shimmering rainbow of silks as a field of horses bunched together, the rolling thunder of hooves. My first ever bet, which was a winner (Lazer Light). The magnificent equine athletes themselves. And then Alysheba, knocked to his knees at the head of the stretch, practically in front of me, and picking himself up and going on to win. Incredible.

I don't think he was the best ever, or even top 10, but he probably will always be my favorite racehorse for the heart he displayed right in front of me that day.

Arcadien
Oct. 29, 2007, 04:46 PM
No the jockey wasn't the only one in tears. I was right in front and one of the scattered groups clinging to the stands sobbing. He broke right in front of us, struggled mightily to keep his feet and thereby saving his jockey any injury. He sensibly came to a stop and stood politely waiting for people to come as his ankle dangled deformed & useless lifted a few inches up. He showed no pain or distress, but seemed confident that people would come, and soon get him out of this rather inconvenient situation. A consumate gentleman, he seemed, showing his best to the last moment.

Now, as I stood crying and hugging strangers before this heartrenching scene, never once did I condemn horse racing, his owners, his trainers, or anyone else.

I'm one of those who says "its part of the game" and still loves the game. Do you say I have no heart? You didn't see me clinging to the rail and my heart in my eyes sharing agony with others in the stands. Do you say I don't care? I can only say I do care. I might share with you my pics of him before the race, the most amazing, gorgeous head shots I've ever taken of any horse. A prince he was, and it shows in those photos.

A prince he remained, to the end. And he went down an honored, revered prince surrounded by those who adored him, feeling little to no pain, only knowing he gave his best, and it was time to go to sleep now. It wasn't the best death. But it wasn't the worst death, either, and was preceded by one of the best lives a horse can live. Or anyone for that matter.

Its almost impossible to explain, how I feel about this sport, and how I can continue to adore it and raise my own to contend in it, while at the same time being one of those reduced to helpless grief when it goes wrong.

I think you have to be a certain kind of person to understand. (No not the heartless kind, spare me).

You have to be the kind that understand the glory of going down fighting... the kind that prefers to push the limits, rather than live safely within them... the kind that can see that a death like George Washington's after a life like George Washingtons is not the worst this world has to offer... and in some ways, is one of the best.

I plan to make a portrait of one of the amazing photos I took of Gorgeous George in the paddock, so I'm not publicizing those photo's yet. But PM me and I'll let you know when it is completed and I'll share the photos.

Here's to you George - gorgeous and elegant to the very end, one of a kind, and never to be forgotten.

Arcadien

Drvmb1ggl3
Oct. 29, 2007, 04:47 PM
George Washington was owned by Susan Magnier of Coolmore & Michael Tabor — two people who, arguably, need no additional funds or studs to keep their multi-national operation afloat. Can you imagine their pre-race conversations? "Let's see, he's a proven bust on dirt, he's really not exceptional beyond a mile, he has NOT been running to form all summer so maybe there's something not quite right with him — but since we're going to Monmouth anyway, let's enter him in the Classic. What fun that could be! Surely, we could at least get the fourth-place money, don't you think?"



Get a clue.

He was not a proven bust on dirt. He ran 6th in the greatest dirt race in the world in his first try on the surface, finishing ahead of such great dirt stalwarts as Lawyer Ron, and Lava Man. He also had the legitimate excuse of getting bumped at the top of the lane. He had no shame in his 2006 BCC performance.

He had run well past a mile.... the Eclipse Stakes is one one the premier 10f races in the world.

Can you point to which of his races this years where he failed to run to form? His first race back after being at stud he almost won. No shame in not winning your first race back after spending the spring mounting mares. He then stretched out to 10f and almost beat one of the premier middle distance horses in the world. He then went back to 8f, a distance that was becoming apparent was a bit short for the 4yo GW and performed well against the top Milers in the world, without being asked to overexert himself, and a race he could have won had he been produced earlier and pushed harder.

Running him in the BC Classic was a sporting gesture. It is one of the most famous races in the world, and the great owners of the world want to win those races. Just like Sheikh Mo sends horse to Australia to win the Melbourne Cup, to America to win the Kentucky Derby, to Japan to win the Japan Cup and to France to win the Arc, so do Coolmore.

InWhyCee Redux
Oct. 29, 2007, 05:21 PM
I was a little too harsh, linguistically, on GW's owners, and I'm sorry for that — apparently he was a deserved favorite. I still, however, do NOT see why GW was risked on a surface on which was not his preferred surface, under less-than-ideal conditions (the ground under the slop was, reportedly, rock hard). The kicker has to be the horse was NOT entirely sterile, and maybe a few more months in the breeding shed might have seen him become a stallion yet. (See below for info on GW's lone offspring-to-be). Whatever the reasoning, it's always sad....

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/racing/article2758900.ece

On the Farm
Oct. 29, 2007, 07:02 PM
I was a little too harsh, linguistically, on GW's owners, and I'm sorry for that — apparently he was a deserved favorite. I still, however, do NOT see why GW was risked on a surface on which was not his preferred surface, under less-than-ideal conditions (the ground under the slop was, reportedly, rock hard). The kicker has to be the horse was NOT entirely sterile, and maybe a few more months in the breeding shed might have seen him become a stallion yet. (See below for info on GW's lone offspring-to-be). Whatever the reasoning, it's always sad....

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/racing/article2758900.ece

Instead of being sorry, why not remove your tasteless comments about someone's imaginary conversation? You wouldn't be alone in doing that because I removed a post of mine yesterday when, about two seconds after hitting the submit button, I realized that my comment had no place here.

gubbyz
Oct. 29, 2007, 09:55 PM
Arcadien, that was beautiful. Please share a pic of him for us that were not there to see him in all his glory. Godspeed George Washington.

sporthorsefilly
Oct. 30, 2007, 10:34 AM
I think it is very difficult to make a decision to enter a wonderful horse only to have to watch the unthinkable. It is also grief and the anger that follows that causes us to write against each other.

Had the outcome been different perhaps we would all be cheering, it wasn't. Let's just accept that each feels grief and pain in their own way. And yes, sometimes life ends quickly at a young age and for others, they live to be 32. Sometimes we don't get to make those decisions for our horses, a higher authority does.

InWhyCee Redux
Oct. 30, 2007, 06:03 PM
On the Farm — I took your advice and deleted the post, which I realized, when I stepped back and looked at it with a cool head, was crass. Who hasn't asked their horse to do something challenging just because they thought their mount was wonderful, and that others should enjoy their talent? I like to think that's what everyone involved was really thinking.

I will leave up the post about GW's foal-to-be.

dressagetraks
Oct. 30, 2007, 11:43 PM
I hadn't realized that there was one mare in foal to GW. That's neat, in a bittersweet way. Will look forward to the offspring with interest.

Walk_N_Gal88
Oct. 31, 2007, 09:13 AM
I've got a question that's been bugging me since I saw the race photos. Why didn't the race organizers (or whoever is in charge) postpone the race when the weather got really bad and the track became slick and more dangerous? I understand the loss of money aspect and having to psotpone on short notice, but wouldn't the inconveinience have been worth the horses, jockeys, and anyone else who had to be on the track being safe?

I'm not trying to bash the sport or anything, I just needed to know.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 31, 2007, 09:24 AM
I've got a question that's been bugging me since I saw the race photos. Why didn't the race organizers (or whoever is in charge) postpone the race when the weather got really bad and the track became slick and more dangerous?

How was the track dangerous? It was listed as sloppy which since the beggining of time has been a classification just fine to run over. GW took a bad step - no more reason to look into that.

All Grade 1 races have at one time or another had a running over a sloppy track. One of the great pictures you'll ever see of Equipose (aka "Chocolate Soldier") is him utterly covered in mud after running. No other horse was injured in any capcity, that's over 100 graded-level horses, that I'm aware of at Monmouth with the track.

The only time it is dangerous is when there is lightening or the track itself has not allowed water to be removed.

Walk_N_Gal88
Oct. 31, 2007, 09:52 AM
The track was dangerous because it was slick on top for an inch or so, then hard like concrete underneath. Wouldn't running full-out on that worry you even a little?

Glimmerglass
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:31 AM
The track was dangerous because it was slick on top for an inch or so, then hard like concrete underneath. Wouldn't running full-out on that worry you even a little?

No.

If anyone thinks that organized horseracing is really run as haphazard as some suggest you truly are mistaken. There are track stewards, grounds crews, plus all the trainers and jocks giving input and constantly examining the track and its conditions. We aren't talking about some bush league facility here; if any runners had misgivings they would've been aired and discussed.

The feedback aired on ESPN directly from the jockeys was very positive in regards to the conditions throughout the race card.

ravenclaw
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:42 AM
Curlin's time for the 1 1/4 mile Breeder's Cup Classic (the same race George Washington was in) was 2:00. That is a fast time. It almost equals the record Secretariat set in the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5) for the same distance over a dry track at Churchill Downs.

So how was the track fine for Curlin but dangerous for George Washington? Like Carl Nafzger said after Street Sense's 4th place finish..."They all ran over the same track."

I am sad about GW. He was a neat horse. It definitely cast a cloud over an otherwise great day of racing. I was surprised that no one in the trophy presentations said anything about GW. That seemed a little insensitive and tacky.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:48 AM
Curlin's time for the 1 1/4 mile Breeder's Cup Classic (the same race George Washington was in) was 2:00. That is a fast time. It almost equals the record Secretariat set in the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5) for the same distance over a dry track at Churchill Downs.

To keep it apples-to-apples: Carry Back in 1962 set the current Monmouth track record at 1 1/4mi at 2:00 2/5 (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/more/10/27/bc.rac.breeders.cup.ap/index.html) so it was exceptionally fast.

dressagetraks
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:49 AM
Also, in racing, if the jockeys themselves protest the condition of the track and say it isn't safe in their opinion, the track has to cancel/postpone racing. The jockeys are willing to do this, too. It's happened often in, for instance, winter months, in one of those borderline freezing rain things. It looked like rain (wet tracks are not unsafe), the jocks come to the stewards after a race and say no, it's freezing around the turns and starting to get slick, the horses aren't getting traction in this, and the track immediately accepts their judgment and cancels the races. The jockeys are best qualified to determine track condition as safe or unsafe, as they are the ones out there riding on it, feeling how their horses deal with it, putting theiir own lives on the line. They will speak up if they feel that a track is getting unsafe, and the track will listen to them. They did not say on BC day that the track was dangerous and did not object to riding over it, and they were the ones in the position to best make that judgment.

Walk_N_Gal88
Oct. 31, 2007, 10:56 AM
I wasn't suggesting that the track conditions were unsafe for one horse, I was talking about in general. I just couldn't see running in those conditions, but as somebody already said, the jockeys were in the best position to determine that. It just concerned me. Thank you for your help though Dressagetraks and Glimmerglass.

cloudyandcallie
Oct. 23, 2011, 08:56 PM
Accidents happen anywhere at anytime. I have had three horses die in the past 3 months. One was running in the pasture and broke her leg, she fell on a yearling colt and killed him. Last week, I had a colt just drinking out of a pond and he was struck by lightening:(. None of them had even made it to the track

Bumping this up.

Laurierace
Oct. 23, 2011, 09:34 PM
It was four years ago, if time heals all wounds they are probably doing ok by now.

Carol Ames
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:16 PM
praying for a swift and pain:cry: free transition to his heavenly realm;and comfort mourn:cry: his passing

ohrebecca
Oct. 24, 2011, 12:17 AM
Bumping this up.

Uhm, WHY were you bumping it up? Because of regret's recent losses? I haven't caught up on the coyotes thread, but if so, that's a very callous thing to do...


praying for a swift and pain:cry: free transition to his heavenly realm;and comfort mourn:cry: his passing

George Washington passed 4 years ago.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 24, 2011, 07:54 AM
George Washington passed 4 years ago.

Oddly enough having just run at Keeneland was Thomas Jefferson (http://equibase.com/premium/eqbHorseInfo.cfm?refno=8558708&registry=T), albeit completely different connections ....