I didn’t write much online the past year. I got too involved in trying to save Suffolk Downs from needless closing and being another lost opportunity for equestrian activities in Boston. Right on the subway line it was.
The problem for me wasn’t in knowing that the track’s ad dollars were cut so the owner could plead public disinterest in horse racing and get unencumbered title to a prime piece of real estate. Maybe it was fraud done in bad faith, but I understood it.
The dispiriting blow didn’t come from an unplugged public mired in apathy, either. I’m a numb stooge a lot of the time myself. The issue for me was the active apathy coming from the staff and patrons who continued to support their deep-pocket owner even to their own economic demise–and that of the horses.
I had one then-recently unemployed Suffolk Downs worker furious at me for suggesting other equestrian activities might share the track space to increase revenue. He had already gotten his severance of 2 weeks pay, and his anger and confusion was oddly channeled against solutions involving progress and cooperation.
And that means … well, you never know what will get to you.
I hope it doesn’t mean humanity can’t save itself, or that the only bright side is we might not be worth saving anyway. That can’t be right.
I’ve realized that resistance-to-change thinking does NOT have to change. There is no need. For that thinking to change would be an anomaly.
Recent success in new quarters of the horse world highlights one of the strange truths of history. A corrupt system doesn’t reform itself–it ossifies and the world moves on. New growth finds a way out of the locked grip. Already new paths to the future are forming for horses. Solutions can come to racing, just not from the same old thinking. And so … it goes.
With change and new growth, the Great Horse books may have more ahead too.
It’s an exciting time of change in horses–and people too. Please be careful.