As the Horses Fell, the Patrons Groaned

On racing’s egregious meter, steeplechasing is practically unsurpassed. These are the kinds of races you watch with an expectation of horses falling – and breaking. This past Saturday saw the 118th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup, a 4-mile race – at times, run at 30 mph – featuring 22 5-foot-high solid timber fences. The final tally: 15 started, 4 finished; of the 11 who did not, 4 fell, 4 “pulled-up,” and 3 lost their riders. The Baltimore Sun reported thus: “The crowd, which covered a hillside overlooking the course, groaned in unison when the first horse fell at the third fence.” When a “sporting event” regularly elicits groans, perhaps it’s time for a bit of introspection.


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  1. I have never watched steeplechasing. I have never cared to, and most certainly never will. Then I read that only FOUR of the FIFTEEN horses FINISHED the race? And the crowd merely GROANED?…my dear God, I would hope they would flee from the “hillside” where they were witness to these tragedies! How can this be…

  2. Horses have carried us thru war,plowed our fields so we could eat,have been our transport,our friends. Haved saved my life,and carried me away for a few moments of peace,from a horrible childhood. Vengeance is mine sayith the Lord. Those jerks will be punished for there evil deeds. The Hopi Indians dance a hoop dance the circle of life. What comes around goes around,a mantra we even use in karate. I wish the entire world would get up and stand up for the all the wrongs around us.

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