Jacob Westing stood in the midst of organized chaos, seemingly in a daze. Grooms were rushing to and fro. Sleek, pureblood horses were all around him. In their stalls, being led in from the track, and being taken out to the hot walker. Short jockeys with tall egos polished their boots and glasses, either sulking or congratulating themselves on a good run. Jacob Westing saw none of that. His eyes were entirely focused on one horse lying in the middle of the track. The earth had been churned up by dozens of pounding hooves.
He was a stallion, his coat was a rich dark chestnut color. His neck and sides were covered in foam and sweat, and his great side heaved with every breath he took, and with every breath he let out came a squeal of pain. Should this horse have won the race, his value would have doubled to one and a half million pounds. As it was, he'd taken a fall, a bad one. His left foreleg was twisted at an odd angle. All attempts to get up had failed. His jockey, a slight fellow named Jim, sat against a post a few meters away, uninjured.
A veterinarian, crouched over the horse waved Jacob over. Two track attendants were attempting to hold him still, but it is relatively difficult to forcefully hold down an animal that weighs eight-hundred kilos.
"There's nothing else to do," the doctor was saying, "His leg's badly broken. Nothing left but to shoot him. Shame, he was such a fine animal." He drew a revolver from his pocket and handed it to Jacob.
Wordlessly the younger man grasped the firearm and knelt beside the horse's head. There was truly nothing left to do. A racehorse with a broken leg can't run, and an injury that severe was not likely to heal completely. No, the kindest thing now would be to kill him, end his misery quickly.
Over a million pounds...
He held the gun to white star in the centre of the stallion's forehead, and squeezed the trigger.
Jacob Westing was a young man in his late twenties. He was tall, and considered handsome with ash blond hair and pale blue eyes. His face seemed to always have a serious expression, even when he smiled and especially when he was not smiling. He was a wealthy man, too, until today. His father had been a prestigious horse farm owner, breeding and training some of the fasest racers in England and garnered a good fortune for himself and his family, and when he had died, the farm had been bequeathed to his only son, Jacob. Now, Jacob had always loved his father's work, and spent his whole life learning the ways of his father. How he treated his horses, raised them, the kind of trainers he hired, how to select the best bloodlines for breeding, and so on. He had invested his life into the best horse his father ever bred, it also happened to be the last horse his father had bred.
En enormous stallion, over seventeen hands high with the best conformation one could hope for. The epitome of perfect breeding, and he was as fast as he was beautiful. His name was Westing's Pride, and that's what he was. Or, what he had been. For now, this magnificent horse that had been the Pride of the Westing Horse Farm and worth more than a million pounds, was now worth a mere few hundred, what the butcher was willing to pay for the meat to be made into commercial dog food, and hooves made into glue. A few fateful seconds on the track and all he was, all that was invested in him, became virtually worthless.
This was the burden laid on Jacob's mind as he returned home, crossed the threshold of his house, not even bothering to call out that he was home. He could hear the cook preparing a meal in the kitchen. His wife was probably...somewhere, he didn't much care at the moment. The thought of her only served to worsen the pain, for she would surely be furious at this great loss. It meant they had to sell, not the property, but most of the horses. The death of Westing's Pride was an enormous blow to their finances, not just his worth but the bets on him as well.
Jacob sighed heavily and sank into an overstuffed chair, not even bothering to remove his boots or hang up his coat. His serious face was even more downcast than normal and it was all he could do to keep himself from sinking into despair.
Originally Posted by Antarctic Termite
You are both wonderful people that's why. :3
Well, you're wonderful, Jorick's just cool and stuff.