A few months ago, New Vocations announced that they were going to be adopting out former stakes horse and Kentucky Derby contender Z Fortune, a beautiful gray gelding from Zayat Stable. I remember some talk about making a documentary about retiring and adopting Thoroughbreds – which I can’t locate now – but if they are going to go through with this idea, Carolyn Conley, his new owner, was the right choice for adoption.
New Vocations’ website says that Conley was selected out of more than twenty potential adopters in part because of her relationship with the Zayat family, but it can’t hurt that this former exercise rider (who talks about riding Z Fortune’s tempestuous sire, Siphon, here) is also a member of the HRTV on-air crew.
I’ve teased them about it before, but HRTV have made efforts to showcase more than just surface statistics and morning-line odds in their coverage of Thoroughbreds. Back when I had HRTV, I spent quite a few mornings laying around the house watching old footage of World Equestrian Games and even Monty Roberts clinics. I can’t say the same for TVG. No offense (it isn’t pick on TVG day, to my knowledge) but TVG, I don’t like your name – could you please change it? Television Gaming? Really? That doesn’t exactly inspire respect or compassion for the living, breathing, feeling creatures charging down the stretch.
In that vein, though, HRTV and Conley have an outstanding opportunity to document the training of a retired racehorse. A video-blogged Retired Racehorse Blog. A weekly series on in the morning hours before North American tracks go to post. Hell, even little three-minute snippets between races or during one of their handicapping shows.
Are there any movies about retired racehorses, anyway? There are movies about bringing back retired racehorses to their former glory. This seems less likely and less like something I’d personally like to encourage! The time is now. Retired Racehorse, the Movie. Make it happen, HRTV!
Okay, maybe a movie is a grandiose plan. I’d still be happy with the little segments interspersed with the handicapping segments. Hey horseplayers! Horses do other things besides run quickly for your amusement! And I’ll try anything to make you see that! Anything to showcase that in this game, we’re playing with living pieces, who require our care long after their television spotlights are over.