Saturday, April 18, 2009

Modern Equestrian: Walking on an athlete's grave

A scar inside of my calf ached when I saw this photo.

There was blood, sweat, and tears to get to that trophy. Please take the flowers out of it, Dahling. This can cause a shudder, this knowledge that for all your work (one million practice jumps, two concussions, broken bones, a lot of wounded pride, and the horses that agonized to put up with all that and your drama, and still looked down a four foot vertical and got you there anyway in under ninety seconds), one day that trophy could fall into the hands of someone who arranged flowers in it. Worse, sweet fluffy pink peonies. As if there was something pretty and honeyed about the days that led to that one, or the afternoon itself. No, it was hard and it should have blood red roses like all horse victories. Lordy. I nearly fainted straight away.

About these blogs which advocate using old trophies as vases: At first I thought it was fine if they used the 1978 Member Guest Mixed Doubles for that but not an important trophy. In hindsight, I would not use any for a purpose other than admiring: There is a little careless irreverence in it. And a whole lot of not really knowing what it took to earn the trophy or to be in the athletic fight of your life. I mean, could one not use the wine cooler instead with equal effect?

Now, this is certainly a considerate way to display trophies and memorabilia:

There is at least one Olympian hereabouts who has a trophy room not unlike this one though the museum effect may be a bit impractical and pretentious.

I promise him that when he is gone none of us will divvy up his Olympic medals to use as tie-backs or make napkin rings from the satin of his winning ribbons.

Also lovely:

And certainly this is a nice way to live among your family trophies: A loving, reverent, comfy, and winning room (The Hostess also thinks a Corgi makes any room a winner).

Ah, Chums. Maybe the Hostess is too much of an old school girl, but when trophies on display are proudly hailed as a purchase rather than an heirloom, the words of the purchasing owner begin to ring a little hollow and sad. Like a lost puppy, a precious trophy away from the winning family compels me to want to see it home safely.

1 comment:

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

My grandfather won a sterling silver cocktail shaker-shaped trophy at an air show (he was a WWII Marine Flyer - Guadalcanal, Yamamoto - you get the idea). We don't even mix cocktails with it. Now that's restraint.