Photo: Benoit Photos
The poll is open now for the Secretariat Vox Populi or “Voice of the People” Award. The candidates are no doubt well-desreving and in fact, have a huge fan base, large Facebook following, and even Twitter following. Groupie Doll, Game On Dude, Mucho Macho Man, Paynter and Princess of Sylmar. They are all successful with an impressive body of work. Safe to say, they will each be remembered years down the road, as well they should.
I wrote in a horse as a candidate--Monzante. Remember him? His tragic demise captured our hearts, our attention, even our pocket books. Like many of us, I donated to a couple of racehorse retirement farms. Some journalists wrote articles about our equine athletes and what happens to them in the sunset of their careers. Racing and betting gurus organized events to raise funds for retired racehorse farms. Industry leaders began the debate and discussion of what can and what should happen before another black eye, another Monzante happens. That was back in July.
Safe to say, many Monzantes happened.
Those horses in the Vox Populi poll have their futures secured (prayers that all race and train safely). Thousands of Monzantes do not. His death galvanized our industry for a brief, beautiful moment. Lets keep the spotlight on this issue. Lets keep the discussion going. Maybe someday we'll see a mandatory retirement fund, a formal retirement process. I don't know what the answer is. But I do know that if Monzante wins this award, his name will be permanently engraved on a trophy and permanently listed with our previous Vox Populi winners. A permanent reminder of what still must be done. Maybe years from now, will will look back on Monzante and remember him as the horse who changed our industry--for the better.
You can vote by going to: http://www.secretariat.com/fan-club/vox-populi-award/. The poll ends December 21.
Rest in Peace Monzante.
~Written by Linda Daly