A young rider and her horse were both killed while competing in the cross-country event at the Florida Horse Park yesterday. Freakish, upsetting and tragic. Truth is, horse people all know someone who has been maimed or killed in horse-related accidents. And we've all been kicked, stomped, bitten, dumped, flung and had our bells rung somehow. The majority of the time it's an accident, not the horse being hostile or aggressive. Thoroughbreds are notorious for spooking easily and running over people trying to escape whatever scared them. Their instinct is to flee, period. They're quick, we're slow.
The inherent dangers are routine for jockeys. They go to work each day with an ambulance following as they do their jobs. Horses snap legs off, people get killed.
And as you can see, it's not just horse racing.
Horse sports are thrilling, exciting, breathtaking yet potentially deadly. This volatility permeates, it's what puts the edge in my work.