Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eclipse Awards

No playing yesterday or the rest of the week.

I watched the Eclipse awards last night and of course the highlight was the Horse of the Year announcement. Plenty has been and will be written on that subject. I, like many fans were eagerly anticipating this event, but there were a number of items large and small which disappointed me.

I guess my disappointments could be summarized as why on the sport’s highlight day, excluding the race days, does the event not strive to present itself and members at their most professional, classy best. Iot even starts with the way the event is presented.

One, why does every event now find it necessary to pander to the gutter for little jokes & quips which does nothing to add to the show. References to Tiger Wood’s sex issues, Dominatrix and such are simply ridiculous for an event/sport trying to put its best foot forward. Second, some people just simply need a lesson in decorum, especially after winning.

Pokes and jabs from the podium do nothing but make the winner seem shallow or bitter, not magnanimous. There were a couple of examples, but I’ll just use Leparoux as an example. First, I’m glad he won and were I to have had a vote, I’d have voted for him. His reference to spending time with his family was nice and fine, but then to leverage that on stage as an excuse and as the reason he lost the money title by $11,000 on the final day was simply tacky. You just won, you made a decision not to ride so man up and let it be.

Finally, I know the event took place in Zenyatta’s backyard in Hollywood. But when Rachel won, there was one table applauding – one! I know many were disappointed, but for that body which supposedly represents the best and brightest not to give Rachel Alexandra a hearty standing ovation was simply ludicrous. I saw it on TVG, but it was apparently also carried on ESPN and the pettiness evident at that moment made me embarrassed for them and this sport.

What can I hope? That from this, in the future the Eclipse and all those blessed to be a part of the event can comport themselves with the class and dignity which would make all of us fans proud to be associated with this sport. Below is my favorite quote of the night.

“None of us would be here without these wonderful horses, a thanks to them.” ~ Jonathan Sheppard

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