Reminiscences of the Indian Derby Weekend
Ms. Ameeta Mehra
It was one of those days... when I woke up with a special feeling in my heart, very special. Read prayers and meditations and got ready to go to the races.
At The Races...
Oh my God! I don't believe it, what a day of grace. Starting with Flashing Star, followed by Monifieth, then the grand Indian Derby with Southern Regent, and a fitting finale with Live Legend. It was a dream come true, and the first thought went to my father. The credit goes to him, his training and teaching me has borne fruit.
On The Flight Back...
I remembered all those years of quiet work, routine mundane things, like checking the feed mangers and water troughs every morning, accounts, labour, purchase, administration and other things one had to do, day after day, just simply watching the mares, the foals, the weanlings and the yearlings, attentive to small details, the thirst to do things well, to pay attention to the minutest details, just like a painter creates a masterpiece. Except, ours is a masterpiece of perfectly coordinated movement... a Racehorse.
On The farm...
As I alighted from my car, the first faces I saw was my staff, gleaming, proud and standing tall. A well of Gratitude filled my heart for them, for their labour of love, for their dedication, and I congratulated them for their victory. They had all piled into their jeeps and driven to the racecourse to see the horses run. The manager, the grooms of all the horses running, the feed men, and the rest who couldn't make it, watched the live telecast on TV at the farm.
We began chatting about the horse � Southern Regent. His groom reminded me, "madam aap ko yaad hog, ki yeh wo hi ghora tha jo 7 foot fence ke upar jump kar gaya, aur use kuch nehi hua. Bilkul mast tha!" Oh yes! I remembered, he was a tough fellow, standing 15.3� hands as yearling, with 8� bone and 460 kgs in weight. One moment he was standing inside the paddock, next moment he had calmly jumped out! He had a strange peculiarity while lunging, he would go happily on one circle and refuse to lunge on the reverse circle.
However, I must add that Venus Arising was also a very beautiful specimen and displayed a lot of strength and agility at the farm. It was no surprise that she became a champion filly.
Went to say hello to Razeen, to give him his favourite 'carrots'. I was wonderstruck. He looked so dignified, standing majestically, hardly more than a glance of recognition, gleaming in the mild winter sun, taking carrot after carrot from my outstretched hand.
Back to the grind, lots of celebrations for the staff, coverings, foalings, tending to the new yearling crop, and continuing with the ole' familiar stud farm routine.
My Motto "All can be done if the God-touch is there."