Buried standing up ?
October 16, 2005 11:28 PM   Subscribe

Why would a race-horse be buried standing up, other than the symbolic reasons ?
posted by oliyoung to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
I can't think of another reason.

Secretariat, one of the greatest race horse that ever lived, was also buried whole. The Wiki article has this interesting bit of information:

In the fall of 1989, Secretariat was afflicted with laminitis, a painful and incurable hoof condition. His condition failed to improve, and he was euthanized on October 4. He is buried at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. In death, he received the ultimate honor for a horseā€”he was buried whole. By tradition, the only parts of a Thoroughbred buried are their head (to symbolize intelligence), heart (to symbolize strength), and legs (to symbolize power).

What I'd like to know is how they buried him standing. A harness until the dirt filled in enough? Perhaps some sort of scaffolding?
posted by sbutler at 12:35 AM on October 17, 2005

Horses, if they're buried, are often buried standing up or on their back. This is because you can't fold a dead horse's legs (generally they lock in place). So burying the horse on its side will take up a lot more space than burying it when it's vertical.

(I learned this working at a summer camp- generally the last job that horse will ever have if the place isn't primarily a riding camp.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:06 AM on October 17, 2005

I thought I heard in an interview with Lee Friedman today that it was a Roman custom, but the closest i could find was The Hyskos.
posted by a. at 4:09 AM on October 17, 2005

I just saw Freedman interviewed on the 7:30 Report (Sentimental Bloke story. Transcript should be posted on the site shortly). In the interview he talked about the significance of Mummify being buried standing-up (yes, it was symbolic, ...I thought he said it was an American Indian custom, though I wasn't paying complete attention).
posted by harmless at 4:19 AM on October 17, 2005

American Indian, now that sounds more familiar.
posted by a. at 4:40 AM on October 17, 2005

Seems to me there's only one fitting way to deal with the remains of of horse called "Mummify."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:50 AM on October 17, 2005

But if the horse dies at Faber College, it is traditional for the janitor to remove the legs with a chain saw.
posted by Ber at 6:14 AM on October 17, 2005

Confirming the 7:30 report recollection, Mr Freedman did say he thought it was an American Indian tradition, and the horse should be buried facing east, towards dawn. Though Mummufy was probably more North-east (which is closer to dawn for the mornington peninsula.

What does Kerry O'Brien think he is, some sort of journalist?
posted by wilful at 4:50 PM on October 17, 2005

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