Roses for Romney
They were in the home stretch. Roses for Romney (a name that many found funny) was in what seemed like the perfect position. Her rider, Irad Ortiz, Jr (one of the leading jockeys at the Belmont meet) had her in fourth place not far from the rail when he eased her out and found what he thought was some space between horses. He seemed to have a lot of horse under him. He drove towards the space when a horse trained by Linda came in closing the space and making her take back… but she was too far into the space. As Irad tried to clear the traffic, her front heels clipped the back heels of Ballerina Belle. Roses for Romney went down hard and the spill caused two other horses and their jockeys to hit the turf.
Roses for Romney couldn’t get up. The picture of her lying on her side trying to get up brought tears to my eyes. I can’t begin to imagine how badly the owners, my friends, who also bred the horse must have felt as they sat in the stands… cheering one moment for their horse and then seeing her go down, unable to get up, no matter how hard she tried. I can only imagine the ambulance rushing to her and the attendants putting up the screen, while the vet euthanized her to put her out of her misery. OH MY GOD!
I thought of my friend’s smiling face the day of the Belmont Stakes when we took those photos with the buxom beauties. I thought of his wife crying next to him while their horse was being put to sleep. Oy vey!
Everyone who races horses hopes they’ll come home safe… but they don’t always. What a tragedy! Luckily, the other horses and the jockeys were not badly hurt.
We have relationships with most of our horses. Whether they’re hurt or get sick, we do what we can to take care of them. Unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing we can do. We all know the feeling of losing a friend or a member of the family. For us and for most of our friends who own horses, they are members of our family and It hurts us deeply to lose one.
RIP, Roses for Romney. You gave your family much pleasure while you were with them.