|Sapphire and McLain at the WEG 2010|
Dumb move, as the news that greeted me, the retirement of McLain Ward's magnificent mare Sapphire, pushed bedtime back a good hour and a half as I then needed to indulge reading coverage of her past triumphs, watch a slew of YouTube videos of past rounds, and peruse photos that I had of her from various competitions I'd seen her compete in. Sadly, there were too few of these for my liking.
Why should this happy news be upsetting, you ask? She's going out on top, she's recovered from her injured check ligament, and most importantly, she'll be able to indulge in as many Dunkin Donuts as she wants. (The Sainted Mare is violently jealous.)
|One of the Great Ones passing "The Greatest"|
Selfishly, I'll miss seeing her in action. When I expressed this to my husband, he said, "So what? What's the big deal? Athletes get old and retire all the time." (This from a man who, at the World Cup in 2009, would not get me a snack as McLain and Sapphire were coming soon in the order and he did not want to miss them).
His comment left me incredulous. "Haven't you ever been sad when one of your favorite Eagles/Phillies/Flyers retired?" I asked.
Men! Heartless creatures. Let's just say I was not ready to see things rationally at this point and there was a decidedly glacial cool down on my side of the bed.
"Is this going to be like Princess Diana/" asked Mr. Sensitive. A little background, I am not normally a celebrity hanger-on, but I was ENAMORED with Princess Di. I have a collection of books and old magazines that darn near needs it's own room. The night she died, I stayed up late to watch network coverage. I fell asleep before news of her death broke, and when i awoke the next morning, the first thing I did was ask my husband for news. "She croaked," was Mr. Sensitive's reply, I did not speak to him for a week. (I swear to you, I'm not normally that irrational, but a girl's heroes are her heroes, and not to be trifled with.)
Back to Sapphire. She's done it all -- 2 Team Gold Medals at the Olympics, a team Silver at the 2006 WEG in Aachen, winner of the Pfizer Million in 2010 2nd in the FEI World Cup in 2009, (we won't discuss what happened in 2010), and top spot by .02 seconds over Eric Lamaze and the insanely quick Hickstead in the 2009 CN International at the Spruce Meadows Masters Tournament in 2009.
| Baby Sapphire. |
Think Her Foals Will Be As Cute?
Sara doesn't owe anybody anything, least of all her adoring fans. We've had 10 years to bask in her magnificence. Quite frankly, though, the show ring will be less exciting for lack of the Big Mare's presence.
You'll be missed, Sara, and we thank you for all the wonderful memories you've given us. It's been a privilege to watch you in action.