My family has a history with horses. My great-uncle, Earl Knisley, trained throughbreds. I used to go visit his barn at the back rows of Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar. He used to walk his horses down to the ocean there at Del Mar and let them splash in the water. I still have a couple of photos of him in the winner's circle with a couple of his horses. This would have been in the late 50's and early 60's. I also had an ancestor (I can't remember which one now, at 5:00 a.m.) who bred Morgan horses. And, my own first cousin, Cindy, had a horse and showed him when she was in high school. Then, my other cousin, Valerie, is an accomplished horsewoman herself and paints many of her beautiful paintings of horses.
But, NOTHING prepared me for the 1973 Belmont Stakes and Secretariat's run in that race. I remember watching it at my grandparents' house in Arcadia with my newly-wedding husband. It was one of the first horse races he had ever seen. I'd seen a lot of races at that time and I'd been to the tracks myself, but I'd never witnessed a horse moving like Secretariat on that day.
In case you missed it, this was posted on Facebook this morning:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfCMtaNiMDM I still get chills watching it, don't you?