Saturday, May 3, 2014

Saturday Evening Post Time

There have been a variety of athletes in my family. My husband and son are both basketball players.  My daughter-in-law - volleyball.  My dad was a track man in college. In high school he played basketball and football.  My granddad played ice hockey.

But over 100 years ago, my great great grandmother's brother, Nathan Hill, was a professional jockey.  (That's him on the far right, with my great, great grandmother and their other brothers.)

And today I get to attend the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.  The Run for the Roses. 

I stop and wonder how much the sport has changed since my Uncle Nate raced these beautiful animals.  

I know that the training for both the horse and the jockey is more advanced.  Certainly the money involved is more substantial.  

But I saw a documentary on a jockey school not long ago and learned that for most of the men and women who ride and care for these horses it's really not about the money.  The majority of the jockeys will never become wealthy doing this.  For most of them it's about the love of the horses that they ride and care for. 

So today I'll don a fancy new hat and place my first ever bet on a horse race.  I'll drink a mint julep in memory of an uncle I never met and be amazed as some of the bravest athletes in the world race 1 1/4 miles in the  "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" on the backs of some of the most beautiful four legged athletes I'll ever see.  

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