Monday, April 20, 2009

A Horse, A Horse, My Kingdom For A Horse

You know things are bad when a racehorse is the only glimmer of hope. From the New York Times:
A racehorse bought for a pittance has turned into a national hero in crisis-stricken Hungary.

The thoroughbred known as Overdose pounded down the stretch here at Kincsem Park on Sunday to extend his record to 12 wins in 12 races, his jockey clad in the red, white and green of the Hungarian flag.

And for an afternoon at least, the crowd of more than 20,000 in the grandstand and lining the rail, along with all the Hungarians watching at home, could forget about the resignation of the prime minister and their currency’s nosedive.

As times have gotten tougher here, the 4-year-old Overdose has become the Hungarian Seabiscuit, a symbol of hope for Americans during the Great Depression. He appears to remind Hungarians of themselves: undervalued and underestimated....

The horse’s popularity has even attracted politicians. On Friday, Viktor Orban, chairman of the center-right Fidesz Party and a former prime minister who hopes to reclaim the job in next year’s election, turned up with a crowd of television cameras to pose with the star.

“Failure is the most often heard expression in Hungary today — failure, mistake, pessimism. When even a horse is able to make a miracle from nowhere, it’s a sign of hope that we can get out from the desperate situation we are now in,” Mr. Orban said.

“If I were a politician, I would do the same, because Overdose is one of the most famous persons in Hungary,” said Mr. Horvath, “even though he is a horse.”

How long before the US looks for its own modern Seabiscuit?

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