Joe Clancy @joeclancy65
Joe Clancy Retweeted MidAtlanticTB
Tried to do Ben's Cat justice one more time.
Ben’s Cat leaves us all wondering why
You can always train the other guy’s horse. That’s what my father says whenever anyone second-guesses someone else’s handling of a horse, a child, a sports team, a business, pretty much anything.
It’s easy to question decisions from the sidelines, difficult to actually make decisions in the barn or on the field or in the executive chair.
Owner/trainer/breeder King T. Leatherbury retired Ben’s Cat in June, and lived up to a promise by sending the 10-year-old gelding to the Kentucky farm of Chris Welker. The decision was different, but Leatherbury is different and so was his horse. Welker loved Ben’s Cat, provided an amazing home and promised to enjoy him for as long as he lived. The four-time Maryland-bred Horse of the Year would get a chance to go trail riding someday, or not. It would be up to him.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
He got colic and died less than a month after he was retired. The news felt like a punch from Joe Frazier or a body check from Scott Stevens, and made anyone wonder what would have happened if Leatherbury hadn’t retired him or left the horse at Laurel for a month or sent him to a local farm.
I don’t know what would have happened. I do know none of those choices would have made Ben’s Cat immune from colic, or any other ailment. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Thoroughbreds are as fragile as dollar-store eyeglasses. Horses seemingly get sick and injured on whims or puffs of ill wind. They kick walls, stick their legs through fence boards, get stuck up against the stall wall. Better Talk Now was retired for eight years – most of them in the same field – and got colic and died in June.
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