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The View

I want to make something perfectly clear before you read the rest of this, and that is I’m not saying in any way,

shape or form that we’re not in a bad situation right now, as an industry, and as a species.

I realize that things that happened to other people years ago don’t help us today when it comes to paying our bills, making our stakes payments, or schooling our children. I’m not belittling anything that we’re all going through today and I’m not trying to lecture anyone either. I did, however, read the following passage online, and I’m sure that at least a few of you have read it too, as it circulated on social media. It was written by a man named Ted Bauer, and I believe it does a lot to put our current predicament into perspective.

* * * *

Imagine you were born in the year 1900...

On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. [3 million have currently died due to COVID-19].

On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.

When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.

Smallpox was an epidemic until you were in your 40’s, and it killed 300 million people during your lifetime.

At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. From your birth, until you were 55, you dealt with the fear of polio epidemics each summer. You experience friends and family contracting polio and being paralyzed and/or dying.

At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t actually end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. During the Cold War, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, almost ended. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How did they endure all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 you didn’t think your 85-year-old grandparent understood how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing art. Refined and enlightening as time goes on. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Your parents and/or grandparents were called to endure all of the above – you are called to stay home and sit on your couch.

* * * *

There’s no doubt that we’re hurting. We need to race our horses. We proved to our government and health officials that we could do so safely through many months of this pandemic, yet as I write this the only entries listed in all of Canada, on the Standardbred Canada website, are for three qualifiers at Truro Raceway on April 20th. Yes, while NHL games all across this country don’t skip a beat, even though the Vancouver Canucks recently had as many as 22 players and staff on the COVID list, only 15 horses are currently entered to go on Canadian soil. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it is what it is at this moment.

We brag that our horses are resilient, and tough, and have huge hearts. We brag that as an industry we have passion, we work endless hours, and many don’t even know what holidays are. This is all true. And that’s why we, and our horses will prevail.

If you have to go on social media and bash our country, and go on about what a horrible place Canada has become, then do so… I guess. I can’t tell you what to think or what to say. But if that’s how you really feel then when this pandemic is over and the borders are open again, please don’t let the door hit you in the ass when you pack your bags and move away from here.

Perspective. Reading the passage above gave me some. I hope it gives you some too.

Just remember that when your horse races bad and finishes fifth - someone else in your race just finished sixth and is going home with empty pockets. It doesn’t mean that you should be happy with your night, but it does mean that things could always be worse.


Dan Fisher
[email protected]

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