Under “What Should I Wear?” on the Foxfield steeplechase (Virginia) website, this:
“You’ll see everything from Sunday Best to Country Casual for both men and women at the Foxfield Races. Women lean towards dresses, while men are usually in a shirt and tie, often paired with khaki shorts. Hats are a big favorite at the races!” It’s all fun and games, and best part, “Children 12 and under are free of charge”!
What they fail to mention, of course, is that you just might see a horse die. In Foxfield’s spring edition (they’re back in the fall) Saturday, Speed Alert, says the chart, “showed a dull effort, suffered an injury, and was vanned off.” In the just-released Stewards Report, we learn that Speed “was euthanized due to a severe soft tissue injury with [multiple] ruptures and fractures.” She would have turned 7 the next day.
But that’s not all. Fast Vision “fell at fence seven after hanging his knee and clipping the top of the fence.” No news on his status. Incidentally, his rider, Mikey Hamill, was summoned to answer for “excessive use of the crop” in two other races. Hamill “acknowledged” it and has been suspended for one day.
Then there’s this from The Queen’s Cup steeplechase (North Carolina) Saturday: In addition to two horses (Soramond, Finding Freedom) falling over hurdles, Proven Innocent “was overcome by the heat on the walk back to the stables and laid down.” The stewards go on to say: “The horse ambulance and vets were summoned and upon arriving decided that it was too dangerous to attempt to get the agitated horse on the trailer…. After about 10 min of treatment the horse began to drink on his own and was walked back to the stable.” All in a day’s entertainment.