“…There is a Zenyatta. She exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy…”
It’s taken me a week to get into words what’s been going through my head about the Queen. Sunday, I knew I dare not try and write something about her, for fear of not being able to live with the tears that pour down my face. These tears weren’t tears of despair, though, these tears that have been coming and going over the last week (and earlier) are tears of pure exuberance.
You see, we’re all better for having known Zenyatta. I didn’t get to live through Secretariat’s heydays. I’ve seen Teddy Terrific, Joe B Jammin, Hot Shot, and Martha, but Zenyatta… she’s different for reasons we can’t explain. Knowing that a horse like Zenyatta exists makes my world a better place. Knowing a trainer like John Shirreffs put in the time to craft Z into the goddess she is gives hope to every horse-crazy kid that wants to train horses. And, knowing that a jockey like Mike Smith rode her with that much heart – with that much “love and generosity and devotion” – will forever touch the way riders that watched him will jockey their own mounts, regardless of discipline.
We in the horse world, at a time when we’re struggling to keep our heads above water with unwanted horses, rock-bottom sale prices and endless drug and abuse scandals, have a horse, and a team, to thank for giving our lives “its highest beauty and joy.”
“Alas, how dreary would the world be if there were no Zenyatta… There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make more tolerable this existence.”
Long live the Queen.