Queen Elizabeth’s frequent equine companion, PH Keston, who often escorted the Queen to royal events, has died, the London Metropolitan Police confirmed on 2ndJan.
“PH Keston regularly escorted HM The Queen on various state events and other high-profile occasions,” the police announced on Twitter Wednesday. “He was a real crowd pleaser with people around London. Thank you for your service Keston. Rip.”
Why do people take this creature to the hearts? Seabiscuit, a stallion that inspired the masses to partake in horse racing, might give us an answer.
Seabiscuit is a champion thoroughbred horse who became the top money winning racehorse from the mid 1930’s up till 1940’s. He was featured in many books and films after gaining the respects of the masses. One of his most notable moments was in 1937, where he defeated the Triple-Crown winner War Admiral by a whopping 4 lengths in a 2-horse race at Pimlico and was voted horse of the year the following year.
Seabiscuit did not have a very good start to his career. He was undersized, knobby-kneed and often ate and slept for long periods of time. His trainer saw potential in him but felt that he was very lazy and focused more on another horse. He lost the first 17 races, usually finishing last that he took part in and was not popular amongst Americans and was taken as a joke.
Seabiscuit saw the beginning of success between 1936 and 1937. On August 22 1936, they raced Seabiscuit for the first time and saw constant improvements in the races that followed. In November 1936, Seabiscuit took part in the Bay Bridge Handicap race at Bay Meadows in San Mateo California. The race was over the length of 1 mile and despite having a bad start and carrying the maximum weight of 53kg, he managed to pull through and win by 5 lengths. Seabiscuit was rapidly becoming a favorite among California racing fans, and his fame spread as he won his next three races.
Seabiscuit’s run of victories continued. Between June 26 and August 7, he ran five times, each time in a stakes and he won under steadily increasing handicap weights of up to 130 pounds. On September 11, Smith accepted an impost of 132 pounds for the Narragansett Special at Narragansett Park. On race day, the ground was slow and heavy and unsuited to "the Biscuit", carrying the heaviest burden of his career and ultimately, he finished third.
Following this defeat, Seabiscuit won his next three races before finishing the year with a second place at Pimlico. In 1937, Seabiscuit won 11 of his 15 races and was the year’s leading money winner in the United States.
Seabiscuit is a legend. Seabiscuit became a symbol of the spiritual and economic revival of the US, the 100-1 outsider who overcame the odds to beat the nation’s top thoroughbred despite being mistreated earlier.
“Much like finding your soul mate, finding your heart horse means that you have found the horse who makes you feel proud and strong and whole again,” said Michael Kwan Wing Lok, committee member of RacingLand and the owner of Glorious Forever, who just sealed a victory at the Hong Kong Cup, the biggest race in Hong Kong.
However, the single most pressing problem being faced by everyone to find the “heart horse” seems to be how to cultivate and develop the ownership base for horse lovers. Apart from buy a horse, people all around the world are not prepared and willing to spend large sums of money to train and maintain their stallions.
For example, in Hong Kong, even getting to become a member of the Jockey Club is already a difficult and tedious process. Potential members would have to go through an extensive background check to check the persons status and wealth. They would also have to be nominated by other club members which would require the potential member to have strong connections. Even after being accepted, members would still have to take part in a raffle drawing to choose who and who cannot purchase a racehorse, to be able to raise it and partake in races in the future.
“We want to more people to share the joy and achievement of owning a horse. With the adoption of new technology, the blockchain, we find a way to overcome the odds and make the dreams come true.” Kwan added. “in RacingLand, we are building a horse crowdfunding platform based on blockchain, where people can own a horse by purchasing the share using token. Horse shareholders can also enjoy the benefits of sharing the bonuses of a race, tournament, as well as the appreciation of the horse.”
Moreover, with the help of blockchain, AI and IoT technology, RacingLand is committed to building a whole horse ecosystem, from horse ownership, horse media, horse game to horse exchange the merchandising for its byproduct. Besides, with the tokenized revenue model, RacingLand is finding its own way to transforming the horse industry.