When you consider the many sad events that are occurring in the world at the moment the death of a horse probably looks fairly insignificant.
The sad and honest truth is that while many families are going through unspeakable torment and experiencing so many emotions as the grieving process takes place that many of us feel detached because we now have a world where terrorism is part of our lives and as regular as the soaps on the television.
For us fans of horse racing though the death of Kauto Star is leaving us with an empty feeling like the loss of a best friend or a family member, many horses albeit not every single one has something which draws us to them and leaves a lasting impression that is imprinted on our lives for ever.
I was fortunate and privellage to be on course for six of his races,it would have been seven had a bout of tonisilitis and a cold not put me on the injured list for the 2008 Betfair Chase at my local course Haydock Park.
The one race which will always stand out for me is the 2011 Betfair Chase when at the age of 11 he rolled back the years under Ruby Walsh to come home to a fourth win in the Grade One contest and the noise was so loud that the world famous St Helens Glass suddenly found itself with a huge order to replace the ones broken by the sound made so loud that even world famous opera singers would struggle to make a crack
It’s a meeting I remember to this day, on the first day of the newly revamped two day meeting I was with my regular race going friends who are also Annual Members at Haydock and all we were really expecting was for Kauto to jump off and maybe do a ceremonial lap before being pulled up and going off to an honourable retirement.
How wrong were we some twenty four hours later when he did what he we had all become used to, I’m not normally an emotion person when I go racing but that afternoon a cold November at Haydock became the warmest place in the world through love and affection for one horse, I’m not ashamed to say that I very nearly broke down and cried but I somehow managed to hold back.
Kauto Star was more than a steeplechaser he was a horse who became a household name and over Christmas he became a tradition and for a few he was a nice way of paying off the upcoming bills for the festive period.
He owes us nothing as he enters the pearly gates at the big paddock in the sky, no doubt when he walks in I fully expect Arkle,Best Mate and Desert Orchid plus Red Rum for good measure to stroll up and finalise the big race that we all want to see but we can only watch when the inevitable happens to ourselves.
At Haydock this Saturday I shall be there and will proudly wear my Kauto tie and leave him some Polos by his statue that sits resplendently next to the main offices.
So goodbye Kauto Star,thank you for the many memories from the big race wins to last fence blunders and from coming back to the top when many all thought you were on the wane.