Friday, November 7, 2008

Zarkava and Zenyatta

While I have always enjoyed the reasonable equestrian pursuits of all breeds when they are well and rightly done, I have always, personally and unabashedly, preferred thoroughbreds. I absolutely adore the breed and laud the people who strive to humanely and ethically succeed in racing and breeding to the betterment of the breed at large. Above all, I love a big, tough, wicked-smart, and delightfully sassy mare with distance capability. Anyone who has ever visited Chez Chevaux knows this description fits my own mare, Claire . She really runs the farm!
This year I was overjoyed to follow the undefeated fillies Zarkava and Zenyatta.
Zarkava's victory over colts and geldings in the L'Arc de Triomphe, was both a magnificent example of what thoroughbreds are and a tribute to the broodmare line. She has now retired to stud.

Some fillies and mares can, should, and do take on, and best the boys!
On Saturday, October 25th, I was on the rail at the finish line for the fourth race, The Breeders' Cup Mile - Grade 1, 2 million$ purse. Goldikova, a three year old Irish filly, put paid to the boys that day and the five old mare Precious Kitten (great photo of her will soon be posted) was a more than respectable fourth in that field of eleven starters.Zenyatta's win in Fridays' Breeders Cup Ladies Classic was another stellar coup. She is awesome.
Remembering Eight Belles and Ruffian made seeing these marvelous mares come in sound even more precious.
Good stallions, obviously, may produce more progeny than good mares.
Unfortunately, for OTTB's transitioning into other areas and arenas, mares seem to be considered less desirable than geldings. We work to change that erroneous perception. George Morris has been quoted as saying "Good mares are geniuses". I agree. But, the right horse is the right horse for the right person...period.
Nonetheless, 75% of the emails and calls we get from potential adopters specify that they prefer a gelding. If you have a great mare story, we'd like to hear it!