I think Dr. Kendall Hansen’s heart was in the right place, but what a dopey thing to dye the horse’s tail. YES, racing needs publicity, and I am all for that. But when you start messing with horses on race day, it is downright silly. I am of the school that horses should be left alone on race days as much as possible. As a trainer I tried to keep the barn a peaceful place where horses could rest until it was time to race. I feel for Mike Maker, we have all had nutty owners. But, I can’t say I have ever had to deal with an owner sending someone to dye a horse’s tail.
Play the twilight zone music when you read her comments:
“It kind of hurt me and Mike’s relationship,” Dr. Hansen told The Associated Press on Saturday night. “We’re going to have to talk it out. It was just a lack of communication. I went to a lot of effort to get this thing arranged.”
“The thing that screwed it up was one of the stewards came down and talked to Mike personally early in the day and said if we brought him over with a blue tail, they’d scratch him. Then I went over and talked to the stewards and they said there was no way they would scratch him. They’d probably fine me or something,” Dr. Hansen said. “So, I couldn’t get that information to Mike. It might have made a little bit more national news if he pulled it off. It’s disappointing for me.”
Racing needs publicity born from what makes racing special, beautiful animals competing, and an environment, whereby people can have a great day whether they win or lose. Keeneland, and Saratoga have this figured out, as do a few others. But many places still have that racing plant feel, gross and uninviting.
But as for schtick like dying a horse’s tail, lets get away from these types of things.