#HORSERACING: A PIC BY MRWILL’S “PRINCESS DIARIES” – MAY 2018
We bring you this latest Princess Diary with a heavy heart. After training very forwardly this spring, our dear Princess A PIC BY MRWILL, sadly sustained a fractured Sesamoid in her front right leg Thursday morning. She had just completed a quick workout on Woodbine’s Dirt Training Track. Thankfully, Exercise Rider Ashlee Edwards could sense something was wrong near the end of the breeze and with some fast thinking, pulled her up right away and we are indebted for this. We admit there was worry and uncertainty receiving messages shortly after from concerned onlookers as she was vanned off, though we can confirm that Princess’ injury while fortunately not life-threatening, is career-ending.
Princess always has been thought-of highly by her “Dad” John Ross. He has been her biggest champion from the start, picking her out as HIP No. 164 at the 2015 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Premier Yearling Sale along with his partner, Princess’ “Mom” Cathy Wong. He’s been with her every step of the way from her battling an almost fatal infection as a baby to guiding her to the Winner’s Circle in what will be known as her final start last August. John never gave up on her, always taking the tougher route.
That taste of sweet victory was something I never will forget. My friends, Team Ross and I standing under the beating sun with Princess, veins protruding on her face after giving it her all in fight to the finish line in the longest race of her career. She was so brave and while sometimes lacking that punch in the final stretch, she wouldn’t be denied this time. I leaned-in to kiss her on her nose, dripping with hose water, trying to make sense of what just had happened. I wanted so desperately for everyone to see this filly, my namesake, as the winner I knew she was and after so many tries, it happened finally. The heavy weight of expectation lifted finally, we were free and had nothing more to prove.
While Princess isn’t the most accomplished horse in John‘s barn, she certainly is one of the most loved and we always made her feel like she was the most special. It is so hard to believe I’ll have to come to terms with walking by her stall and not seeing her there anymore. I will miss surprising her every week with a jumbo Fuji apple and a bag of miniature carrots, but not first without a spirited twirl from her and a cry to hurry-up. While she could never speak her appreciation, I knew in my heart what it meant to her that I made time to see her. Sometimes that even came with a kiss.
Princess earlier today:
Princess did everything we ever hoped of her and she made us all so proud. Even when she didn’t win, she almost always gave it her all and this is how we and her fans will remember her for in her career as an athlete. The outpour of support from bettors and fans online and at the track has been astounding in her brief career, normally securing her place as the betting favourite at post time. While John, Cathy, the Team and myself are all heartbroken that one road ends abruptly here, we are hopeful for what might come next.
While Princess has been unlucky in ways sustaining this her third injury in less than two years, she also has been blessed in so many other ways. Though hurt, every time she has stayed just enough out of harm’s way as if she were being saved for something greater.
John tells us, “Princess was a lovely filly to train. She has the best personality and we were looking forward to a great season with her. We will decide her future in the next few months. We hope most that she has a full recovery. Thanks to everyone for all your support. We are incredibly touched that you connect so much to her.”. Cathy adds, “She always held a special place in our hearts and when things got scary, we never doubted once that we did the right thing doing all we could for her. I remember naming her when she was a baby and how I couldn’t wait for The Jockey Club to approve it. It was one of my happiest moments having our picture taken together in the Winner’s Circle with Princess.”.
Cathy + Princess yesterday morning:
The next few months will be all about Princess’ rehabilitation and she will be remaining on the grounds at Woodbine for a while more. I intend to take full advantage of this and hope at some point we can give her fans (or as we call them her “priends”) a chance to say goodbye. While it still is very early to say, motherhood certainly is an option for her and we already quietly have received inquiries. It is shocking how quickly the word has spread, even though it shouldn’t have come as a surprise knowing how well loved she is. I for one am a huge fan of her being a broodmare prospect. With her sweet demeanour, beautiful conformation, competitive spirit and bloodlines which run deep in talent (including $1.1 million-earning champion Bear Now and $165k earner Classyshadesofgrey), we believe without a doubt that she is the perfect fit for the role of mom.
This all of course is dependent on Princess’ recovery and wellness and we will walk this path to healing together with her. Visiting her today, we feel good about her getting better soon. Her quality of life in this next phase is important equally to the great care she received when she was able to compete on the track.
Princess Diaries will still be coming and we look forward to sharing with you her journey ahead. How fittingly bittersweet is it that with all this talk of the Royal Wedding, our Princess too walks down the aisle to a new chapter in her life?
Please continue to follow our journey with her:
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/Cathy Wong)