The devastating loss of Grand National winner Many Clouds in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham yesterday has left me feeling very reflective.
I’m sure I’m not alone in looking forward to seeing my horse at the beginning and end of each day, he gives me a warm welcome like no other, licks his lips (I’m sure he just knows it’s food time) and looks genuinely pleased to see me. Yesterday, after the news of the loss of the phenomenal chaser Cloudy, I couldn’t wait to get to the stables and give my boy a big hug.
That horse (pictrued top, photo credit: O Sherwood Racing) literally ran his heart out at Cheltenham yesterday, beating the previously said ‘unbeatable’ Thistlecrack, a horse on flying form. The nation was shocked and devastated, and soon, pictures and quotes were trending online, as people sent well wishes to the owner, trainer and stable lads and lasses who worked with the great boy.
You could see the pain in trainer Oliver Sherwood’s eyes yesterday as he spoke to the media after losing his stable champion. The horse that had stole the hearts of the nation as he courageously fought to the very end.
As an ExRacehorse owner, I feel lucky to have a gorgeous Thoroughbred who finished his racing career on a high before looking for a special forever home in which to live out his days and learn a new career. Racehorse owners and trainers only want the best for their horses, they’re passionate about them and have a real love and respect for them. As so often stereotyped, they’re not just money makers.
Owning a horse is a privilege, it’s not a right. We choose to have them, spending all of our time, energy and money on them, hoping to one day complete a one day event, or go hunting, or just to build that irreplaceable bond with. Unfortunately those associated with Many Clouds won’t get the opportunity to go and kiss him on the nose, hug him or give him some treats. So make sure you do so at every given opportunity, life is precious. Both for horses and humans. Don’t regret not having that final moment.