On Tuesday, June 10th, we were all set to see Pursuxit run in the last race at Sunray. The horses were all ready and on their way to the starting gate. We had our bets in. We were watching the races at Turf Paradise which is close to home.
Suddenly, the screen showed that Pursuxit was scratched. My heart dropped. I was worried that something had happened to Pursuxit. He might not be my favorite horse, but he has been with us for some time now and I really think he is a wonderful horse. I think he is one of the smartest horses in our barn. He has a very knowledgeable way about him. It’s had to explain, but all the horses have different traits and different personalities and Pursuxit has always struck me as being very intelligent.
I immediately texted our trainer to find out if Pursuxit was okay. I felt sad that we didn’t see him perform, but I was really worried that something terrible had happened to him.
Within the next fifteen minutes, I got the answer. The trainer texted that the jockey had decided that she would not ride Pursuxit. Sounds crazy, but it does happen. The jockey is free to decline a race even within minutes before the race. When this happens, another jockey can take the mount. Unfortunately, it was the last race of the day and there were no jockeys available.
Of course the first reaction to this happening is anger. The jockey agreed to ride the horse and although free to back out, there is an agreement that the jockey would fulfill the commitment. Since I was not at the track, I didn’t feel angry. I was just relieved that Pursuxit was okay.
After thinking about it, I came to the realization that the jockey probably did us a favor by not riding. Apparently, she felt that the horse was more than she could handle. She must have felt unsure or unsafe on the horse. If she had ridden the horse, more than likely, she would have held back and Pursuxit likes a strong rider. Horse racing can be dangerous and an ill-equipped rider is not good under any circumstances.
Although it was disappointment, we are happy that Pursuxit is okay — after all, the horse comes first. We probably will not consider this rider in the future, but Pursuxit has another chance to race at Sunray before the end of the meet. I feel confident that he will do well for us this summer and that this is a minor set-back at most.