Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Ashley Mundee - a life worth living

By coincidence I had backed the horse Ashley Mundee was riding on December 30 so was watching the race. Elleaye was around mid-field when he suddenly went down. I thought he'd broken down but later learned he'd clipped heels with another horse. It was a horrible spectacle watching the jockey go under the hooves of those following and a further jockey fall from her mount. I drew a very sharp intake and must have made some sort of sound because the dog start barking.

When I heard she had later died I shed tears for the sheer misery it will cause her family and friends for the rest of their lives. What I can't get out of my head is whether, as her mother, I would want to watch the footage of Ashley before the race. Milling around behind the gates, happy and chatting with the other jockeys and handlers as the horses loaded. Because that's what I would want imprinted in my mind. The pleasure and pride she would have taken in her abilities; the sheer exhilaration of riding along on the back of an animal reaching speeds of 50 mph; the wonder of getting paid for what you love doing most.

Her life was cut short but what a life it was.

No comments: