Porter Names Horses in Honor of Normandy Invasion Vets

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Normandy Invasion veterans greet the media after meeting the Kentucky Derby contender named in their honor Normandy Invasion veterans greet the media after meeting the Kentucky Derby contender named in their honor

After an emotional meeting between several World War II veterans and Kentucky Derby runner Normandy Invasion, owner Rick Porter felt moved to honor the four men who visited his horse on Kentucky Oaks morning.

Porter named Normandy Invasion in honor of the troops who fought at the famed battle in World War II, and gave several of those troops the chance to watch the colt run for the roses earlier this spring. Now, he’s named a 2-year-old in his barn for each of the four veterans who shared the experience with him.

Perhaps the most moving of the four is a filly named Mary Rita. Mary Rita was named for the late wife of World War II veteran Bill Wilch. Wilch met the equine Mary Rita for the first time on Friday, where Porter surprised him by arranging to name the eighth race the Mary Rita Classic.

Evan Downing, assistant to winning trainer Kellyn Gorder, insisted that Wilch keep the trophy.

Read more at the Louisville Courier-Journal

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  • cheri

    Excellent way to increase public participation in horse racing! Bravo!

    • a fan

      Also an excellent and appreciative way to honor WW II veterans who fought against tyranny and injustice.

  • Roisin

    Classy and touching.

  • Don Reed

    A hell of a lot more thoughtful and appreciated than those tacky, rickety highway signs.

    • RedShoesGirl

      but the highway signs will last a lot longer than a horse will be remembered.

      • Don Reed

        Good point.

  • In Tears

    Mr. Porter shows real class honoring vetrans of WW11. My heart fills with pride when someone is willing to honor the greatest generation America had.
    Most people do not know that the landing at Normandy was miscalculated. The tide was out and the landing craft could not make the beach. The GI’s had to wade or swim, guns and amo were wet and the GI’s were sitting ducks for the germans. Many men died that day. My father received his first Purple Heart pulling wounded and dying men out of the water.

    • Janice Palmer

      A unique, heartfelt and heartwarming gesture by Rick Porter to honor these heroic war vets as well as give positive press to this sport that we love! His love of country and the men who made it is quite evident! Kudos.

  • Richard C

    It is a personal salute from the heart…..which – hopefully – will find some getting motivated to open history books….and meticulously read each page.

  • In Tears

    Richard you may be disappointed with modern history books. The books are being changed from the real truth. In Texas a parent was reading her childs history book. A chapter on the twin towers going down in NY was written as created by our own government. The women was so upset the company finally pulled the history books.
    And to further curle your toes, our wonderful government is instructing teachers to “to teach down.” Think about it!

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