October 22nd, 2013


Filthy Business

We watched the race on TV. My mother's horse shared the lead for two and a half circuits and then dropped back on the final stretch- coming in second to last. We were expecting a disappointment, this was its 30th outing and it had never won.

A few minutes later the trainer rang. The horse, she said, had "struck on"- which is racing jargon for "kicked itself in the shin". It was seeing a vet. A few minutes more and we learned it had severed a tendon. Racing shoes are thin- for reasons of weight- and sharp as blades. The vet advised having the horse put down. My mother consented.

I'll tell you what I wanted to do. I wanted to gather up the racing memorabilia with which this house is filled and chuck it all in a skip.