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Poetry: Thoroughbred Racehorses and Broken Bones

Updated on August 9, 2011
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Barbara Anne Helberg is a Fiction freelancer, Internet writer, WordPress blogger, former Journalist, and a Famous Writers School graduate.


Despite efforts to avoid the tragedy of race track breakdowns in Thoroughbred racehorses, broken bones often occur during races and even in workouts, or in freakish accidents, as well.

Are we doing enough to help prevent these accidents and elevate the health and welfare of the racehorse to its highest level?

This poem is dedicated to that lofty cause, and to those amazing creatures who run for their lives.

...{ Broken Bones }...

We watch them farely glide
Across tracks of flying dirt.
Seldom do we really surmise
Any soon will be grievously hurt.

Reality's lessons now should suffice,
Warn us all of the unending
Strife of their facts of life:
Their hearts ever will try, unbending.

Hoofs and hearts are buried here and there,
Signs of long bones broken short
Of the wire to which they tear
Without quit, neither hesitant snort.

Brave G. W., fillies Ruffian and Eight Belles
Misstepped, stumbled, stopped, went out
Before we were ready; it tells
That we still need to shout about

Thoroughbreds and their tenuous plight,
Creatures of training, however, frail
In their expected, difficult fight
To please while we pursue bragging tales.

Rewilding, latest to die, this for
England's George VI and Queen Elizabeth
In the stakes of their royal lore.
He now is Heaven's uplifted gift.

Sublime Barbaro, several years gone,
Never met the Preakness Stakes wire.
Slipping under foot, his last song;
His lasting legacy, never to sire.


Thoroughbred broken bones, our own woes;
We lead them to an unrelenting gate
To vanquish their contemporary foes
While we admire strength, mindless of cruel fates.

Ours, they proudly go, ready, able,
Prancing to the start, not knowing
Varied agendas upon owners' tables.
Nickering they go, high-stepping, blowing.

Shall we stop the trend of bones
Broken as we send them to act
Out our own fantasies and tones?
Or finally, willing, face fatal facts?


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    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @teaches12345...Thank you for commenting on this issue.

      If we are going to change the environment of our animals and ask them to serve us, we are obligated to give back to them in kind and caring ways.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It is sad that horses get so broken and mistreated. Thanks for posting this caring hub. I hope it makes a difference in some people's attitude towards our fellow creatures.

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @aviannovice...Thank you for commenting and the compliment.

      We are the caretakers of earth and its animals. Her fate and the fate of her animals are up to us.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was done so tastefully. The event itself is sadly criminal, all for the Almighty Dollar...

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @Coolmon2009...Thanks for sharing your enjoyment of this Hub!

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I enjoyed reading your poem, thanks for sharing.

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @rjsadowski...Thanks for your sentiments!

      When I write poetry, I use the old-fashioned way of using punctuation to express each thought. Read the punctuation, not line by line, and it may become an easier flow for you.

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 5 years ago

      There is great beauty and sadness in what you say but your poems are not easy to read. I find that if I revisit my poems and try to improve the flow, I can make them better. Some, I have been working on for years

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 6 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @Writer20...It is difficult, the Sport of Kings. The problem is inherent. Breed and raise X number of foals per year with only a handful getting the high life. What to do with those who don't get there?

      @always exploring...Some Thoroughbreds, I believe, do very much take to their training and love to run in racing conditions. I think jockey Ron Turcotte's remarks about Secretariat's 31-length Belmont Stakes win is the best proof of that. Turcotte said Secretariat did it himself that day, that he just went along for the incredible ride.

      Over 30,000 foals come along every year and just one as a three-year-old can win the Kentucky Derby and have a chance to break the Triple Crown drought (since 1978).

      I love horse racing, but how we handle the "left-overs" situation is the problem. It's another let's be aware question. As the horse's human caretaker, it's up to us.

      Thank you both for sharing on this hub!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I always thought the horses rather enjoyed running, now i'm not so sure. Lovely poetry.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Poor horses, we should totally look after them.