I first heard the story about the turtle sitting atop a fence post from the late John R. Gaines, a real-life visionary who created the Breeders' Cup, was the driving force behind the Kentucky Horse Park, and did just as much for the Central Kentucky community as he did for the horse industry that he loved.
Gaines, speaking at a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club some years ago, said he and his late friend, longtime Gainesway Farm manager Joe Taylor, were touring the farm one day when they happened upon a large turtle perched at the top of a fence post. “How do you suppose he wound up there, Joe?” Gaines asked his friend.
“I don't know,” Taylor replied, “but he sure didn't do it by himself.”
That's probably a more politically acceptable version of the “you didn't build that” theme that crept into the 2012 presidential campaign. Few things in life are accomplished without some kind of support or assistance.
Gaines, for all that he accomplished with his great intellect and verve, was always quick to credit other people – often industry rivals – for helping out. I well remember another speech he gave, this one at the Jockey Club Round Table in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., when he listed dozens of individuals who helped in the formation of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which at the time he hoped would develop into a national office for the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
He knew turtles couldn't climb fence posts.
The Thanksgiving holiday provides an appropriate opportunity to reflect on the philosophy that very few things are accomplished in a vacuum. The Paulick Report is no exception. Going on four and a half years now and continuing to grow since Brad Cummings and I launched the site in June 2008, we are extremely thankful to the readers who encourage and challenge us, to the advertising community that recognizes our value, and to the contributors and past and current staff who continue to make this such an interesting journey.
On behalf of Paulick Report CEO Brad Cummings, editor-in-chief Scott Jagow, news editor Mary Schweitzer, and weekend editor Melissa Bauer-Herzog, a big thank you to the breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, racetrack employees and other industry participants who make this game so unique and fascinating. We are grateful for the passion of the fans and the commitment of the horseplayers, without whom this industry would not exist. And it goes without saying that the horse is the most important component in this entire game. Sometimes, we tend to overlook that fact, to the detriment of the sport.
From all of us at the Paulick Report, we wish you a most Happy Thanksgiving.
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