Horse and Boy- The Derby and Camelot.

Was there ever a more appropriate name for the winner of this particular season’s Derby, but Camelot? Was there ever a boy more in tune with his mount? From the moment he was lifted to the saddle Joseph O’Brien quietly took command of the race before it had begun, directing Camelot to the far rails, away from distractions, like any keyed up athlete, needing calm concentration. Watching his controlled canter to the start, one knew this was a master at work, deeply sensitive to the moment, and the needs of his superlative horse. It reduced me to tears.

The romance of horse-racing lies in many things, the poetic pictures of Degas, the traditions of the colours, and the co-ordination of stable boys, grooms, trainers and jockeys, but ultimately it is the celebration of the horse. The superlative aristocracy and beauty of the animal, that challenges all our human sense of superiority, by something aesthetic, intelligent, alive and peerless is what holds mankind in thrall, and so it should. No greater tribute to the Queen’s greatest love will be given for all the razzmatazz. That race will live with me forever, and that boy’s gentle modesty.

Photo reproduced under Creative Commons Licence

Author: philipparees

A writer ( mostly narrative poetry) of fiction and non-fiction. Self publisher of fiction and Involution-An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God (Runner-up Book of the Year (2013), One time builder ( Arts centre) Mother of four daughters: Companion of old man and old dog: One time gardener, lecturer, wannabe cellist, mostly enquirer of 'what's it all about', blogger and things as yet undiscovered.

3 thoughts on “Horse and Boy- The Derby and Camelot.”

  1. I enjoyed this very much, Philippa. I adore horses and always watch the races though sad at times when horses and riders stumble and fall. It’s a very good piece. Frankly, I seldom notice anything as trivial as a wrong comma. You’re writing is always poetic and interesting.


  2. Awesome story. I could see the action in my head. If you don’t mind, here is a little advice on sentence structure and punctuation.” From the moment he was lifted to the saddle, Joseph O’Brien quietly took command of the race before it had begun. Directing Camelot to the far rails away from distractions, Joseph gave his mount the opportunity to concentrate.” I am assuming you meant the horse needed to concentrate. In your sentence, it is difficult to know for sure. Watch your punctuation. Nothing throws a reader off more quickly than getting hung up over too many commas. There is no need to use a comma before the word and. Take what you have written and put it into a word processor and do a grammar check. You will be amazed how much this takes the guessing out of writing.
    I don’t mean to take anything away from your ability to tell a story. You do that quite well. This isn’t meant to be a negative message, just so help moving forward. No one is perfect, especially not I. Please feel free to check out my work and give any advice you feel will help me improve. Best of luck.


    1. I think ‘gave his mount the opportunity to concentrate’ makes clear it was the horse! Let the debate begin on something pretty trivial. I admit the crime of an unnecessary comma after ‘distractions’ but it was to give a sense of the time taken ‘against the far rails’.Punctuation can be poetic as well as grammatical.


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