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Victory At A Price

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Victory at a Price I ran my small pale hand shaking in the bitter winter wind, gently down his left hind leg. It felt smooth and strong, there was no sign of the recent injury. I felt a great sense of relief. It was going to be alright. Luxembourg turned his head with a white blaze down it to his mouth, towards me and gently moved his big hooves out of my way. He seemed to sense that I was nervous and touchy. It was the night before the big race. I sighed deeply; I stood to lose everything, the stables, the horses and the staff. We had not made any money for such a long time. Our lives depended on winning the second race tomorrow at Kempton Park. I woke up to the early morning sun streaming through my upstairs bedroom window. I was eager and excited but I still had some concerns that in a couple of hours, when the race finishes, he would come back safe and sound but I would be over the moon if Luxembourg was to win. ...read more.


We walked through the plastic gates through to the parade ring. There were a couple of thousand people watching us because we were the last horse to go through. I could feel Luxembourg tensing up and scared, there were lots and lots of people watching him. We walked round and round the huge parade ring. I heard a voice faintly; he said "number nine looks fit and healthy". I thought to myself that must be a good sign if other people think he is fit. The first bell rang deafeningly, it meant the jockeys were to come out and mount up onto the horse. Paddy came out jogging; he came over and talked to us. He said "Go from the front, see how it goes". I went over to the horse with Paddy, I gave him a leg up, and we were the first mounted up. I walked out to the course holding the horse reigns as if I was walking a dog. I said "Good Luck" to Paddy and let the reigns go. ...read more.


The second horse came closer, closer, and closer. The race went to the judge. A few minutes wait, I was trembling, shivering and Goosebumps went everywhere. The judge spoke "first number 9 Luxembourg, Second Number 2 Kauto Star. I went down to pick him up, I whispered to Paddy "Well Done." He was delighted. I walked him into the winner's enclosure. I felt that Luxembourg was not walking as fit as usual. He was limping; we thought something must be wrong with him. He just about got into the winners enclosure. I asked the vet to look at him. The vet said he had to be put down, he could not live another hour. He was put down. I fell to the ground in complete shock. I was in tears. A puddle building up on my face. I was sweating, shivering but most of all distraught. My staff, family and I were distressed and depressed. He was the best horse I ever had for the thirteen years we have been running the stable. I thought to myself, no one can ever replace Luxembourg, he was a superior, excellent and energetic horse that will never be forgotten and always have a place in our hearts. ...read more.

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