Testing the Resiliency

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“Our greatest trait is our resiliency.”

That quote has become a mantra of ours, and we’re not talking politics, we’re talking horse racing, a game which continues to test our resiliency and resolve.

Just in case you were wondering…

Trainer Neil Mulholland had contemplated sending Fox Norton to America for the Grand National at Far Hills last fall, but ultimately opted to keep him in England, returning the 6-year-old French-bred in a handicap chase at Cheltenham. He won impressively. Can a horse win too impressively? For a trainer, yes. Fox Norton attracted owners Ann and Alan Potts, they offered a price too big to refuse. Fox Norton moved to Colin Tizzard’s burgeoning yard and won a Grade 2 chase at Cheltenham. Mulholland won a race and lost his horse. 

Earlier this month, Vautour went out in the paddock with his friend, Shaneshill. They go out together every day. This day, Vautour broke his leg and needed to be put down. Poof. One of the most electric, captivating horses we’ve seen, a three-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival, is gone, just like that. As for Mullins, he had it all – until he didn’t. Reportedly a riff over training fees sparked a divorce between leading owner Gigginstown House Stud and Mullins. No matter how well you shoot, you need ammunition. Mullins lost a holster, well, a couple of holsters, as 60 horses went out the driveway. Weeks later, Vautour is gone and Mullins’ closest rival, Gordon Elliott, is rolling, winning six of seven at Navan Sunday. The top is a slippery perch.

Four jockeys went down at Kempton Park. One walked away unscathed, one walked away with a broken nose, one hobbled away with a broken ankle and one will never walk again. Freddy Tylicki suffered T7 paralysis, unable to move his lower half. The 30-year-old German-born jockey rode his first Grade 1 winner this summer and had hammered his peg in a deep British jockey colony. The sport rallied, raising over £275,000 for Tylicki. I sent £25, a spit into the wind for what Tylicki faces. All jockeys have lay on the ground wondering if they were ever going to walk again, the news of Tylicki’s injury was a headline into the heart.