The Man Who Blesses Horses

“As I looked around the chapel, I was wondering where the horses were tended to. I almost expected to see a place for horses to drop by and visit. I asked Ken if he ever blessed the animals like the St. Francis Blessing of the Animals.”

Julie June Stewart, in her article for “The Rail”, muses on where Churchill Downs chaplain Ken Boehm conducted the equine part of his ministry. Julie’s article is recommended for all who love horses, have any interest in the horse racing industry, or wonder if those on the backside of America’s tracks see the horses as tools or blessings.

“There are hard times on the backstretch when there is a tragedy. Boehm’s face softens when he talks about Eight Belles. She was the talented filly trained by Larry Jones who finished second to Big Brown in the 2008 Kentucky Derby. She suffered compound fractures after crossing the finish line and was euthanized immediately. When it happened, Boehm went to Eight Belles and prayed over her.”

Larry and I were watching the race when Eight Belles broke down at the moment of what may have been her greatest accomplishment. It is comforting to know that she was carried from this life in prayer.

Click here, The Man Who Blesses Horses, to read the entire piece if you wonder how ministry and the race track meld together in Christian service.

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