Vol. 10, No. 23

June 6-12, 2002

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A Little Horse Sense for Graduates and Underdogs

Dear Graduate:
We’d bet that none of your commencement speakers has talked about a horse named Magic.

On the other hand, you’re probably hearing a whole lot from the podium about how you are entering a different world since the September 11 attacks — a much more dangerous world than the senior class one year before you entered.

They’re right. But we don’t think you need to concentrate all your energies on an evil that may never befall you.

The world may indeed be different. But some things never change, among them the truth that you need to do all in your power to get the most from your life.

Which brings us to that horse. In case you missed it, at the finish line of the Preakness in Baltimore last month, a blur emerged from nowhere, a bay horse jetting from the pack to almost win the race.

His name is Magic Wiesner, and he is an Anne Arundel County horse who shouldn’t have been born and almost didn’t live. Up against millionaires and princes, he came less than a second from shocking the world by capturing the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Why should you care about a horse?

From this horse, you can learn a lot more than from many graduation speakers. Magic does not waste his words; he teaches by example. And by example, the magic lesson is that to win, place or show, you’ve got to be there.

Day after day, owner-trainer Nancy Alberts and her horse were out at the Laurel racetrack, running. “I never really dreamed of big races. All I ever dreamed of was having horses that could earn their keep,” she told Bay Weekly.

By simply earning their keep, Alberts’ horses were always in the running and ultimately opened the gate for a big race.

If you’re a racehorse, it’s not such a tough thing to get out on the track and run. Horses like to run, and they have limited imaginations. But if you’re an American kid, it’s a lot easier to dream about what you’d like to be: a rap star … a basketball star … a superstar. It’s a lot easier, because dreaming saves you the trouble of doing. The difference between the star and the never-show is the deed.

But unless you’re going to be a novelist or an inventor, you’re dreams aren’t likely to win you any prizes. Dreams alone are not likely to even get you on the track.

On the other hand, showing up day after day, whether the track is fast or muddy, wins you the speed, the power and the endurance that may some day score you the big prize.

And even if it doesn’t, you — like Magic and Nancy Alberts — have had the fun of being in the running.

Copyright 2002
Bay Weekly