This post was inspired by my non-human hero, Zenyatta, winner of Horse of the Year…And a reflection on the What Films Made you Cry video I posted here . Nothing gets me like a tear-jerker featuring animals (Marley & Me, Seabiscuit, Horse Whisperer.) And although the legendary tale of Miss Zenyatta hasn’t translated to a feature film yet, nothing gives me chills and makes me love horses more than a reflection on her racing career through her short youtube videos. Over the course of her career, these videos of Zenyatta started popping up, spreading the word on our modern-day Secretariat. It was hard not to take notice of her winning streak, unique pre-show ’dance’ and my personal favorite clip, which took the viewer on a thrill ride of her ‘working’ courtesy of her loving jockey, Mike Smith. It was hard for me not to get swept up in the inspiring tale of Zenyatta and I was so devastated when she lost by such a small margin in her final race at the 2010 Breeder’s Cup. After watching such films as Seabiscuit, you really start to get a sense of the close relationship the jockey share’s with their racehorse, and my heart went out to Mike Smith on that day. With that being said, I was so happy to just come across this article here, announcing Zenyatta as Horse of the Year.
Video of Zenyatta working:
Never heard of Zenyatta? She’s the thoroughbred responsible for putting horse racing back into prime time and winning the hearts of millions of fans, young and old along the way. She has 60,000 Facebook followers, a feature in W magazine, 60 Minutes and for the second year in a row she came in 2nd for the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, this time to Lindsey Vonn. She is now retired, but was undefeated in 19 consecutive races in a 20-race career, never losing to a male and always sporting her signature teal and pink silks. She was purchased at the low price of $60,000 because she suffered from a form of ring worm but has since won over $7 million during her 4 season career. She has broken countless records, but is especially famous for being the first female to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic @ Santa Anita. She also quickly learned how to steal the show before the show with her unique and unladylike ‘dance’ where she would actually show off and get herself pumped up with her signature ”dressage goose-step’ moves before her races.
Here’s a video of her passing the best horses in the world, all of them male, in a breathtaking last-to-first victory at the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic:
Photo of Zenyatta at the Breeders’ Cup in 09 with jockey Mike Smith