|A bath, after a workout|
With Ontario racing in such dire straits one might think buying or upping ownership in anything here is crazy. But we buy a horse to do hopefully one of three things - break even, win a race or two to have some fun, or to have a nicely bred horse that has a chance to be really good. We don't need an accountant to approve it.
This is old school and anachronistic and I realize that. It's not the way things should be done, apparently. It's just not being a modern horse owner. So people say.
Frankly, and respectfully, I think "those people" are the ones who have it a little bit backwards. Horse ownership was never meant to be a business for owners. It's meant to be a hobby, an aside, an escape, entertainment.
It's meant to be having dinner at the track and visiting your charge in the paddock with friends. It's about bringing your son or daughter or nephew to the farm with a bag of carrots. It's the excitement before post time. It's about the exhilaration when you win, no matter what the class. It's about the emails after a good race with your partners, or the commiserating after a poor one.
While reading The Story of Dan Patch, the author spoke about a trade paper, where a 1905 story spoke about a survey of horse owners which showed one out of five hundred made money. The other 499 were in it, just to be in it. It's what the history of horse ownership is, and I feel those of us who buy horses for old school reasons are not bucking convention, we are conventional.
I don't belittle the situation in Ontario. There are many people who are losing their livelihoods, there are those who have fifty yearlings who need that revenue to stay afloat. The Ontario governments' handling of the situation makes pork-barrel stimulus packages or Solyndra investments look like good government in comparison. But if we had more people seeing a man about a horse and asking not how much money he will make or what his profit and loss statement will look like, but how much fun he may have, I think our industry is simply returning to its roots. And our roots are not too bad.