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This tribute after the death of Volta shows how much trainers care

Volta: Francis Graffard paid tribute after her death
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Anyone who follows racing for a time soon discovers that those who look after racehorses every day form intense emotional bonds with their charges. So when racehorses die, the devastation can be intense.

However, that enduring bond and the emotional anguish death can cause has rarely been expressed better than by Francis Graffard, who on Sunday shared a beautiful, elegiac tribute to Volta, one day after her sudden death.

Volta, a four-year-old filly, was a Group 2 winner and placed second in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild. She also finished third in the Prix de Diane (French Oaks). She suffered a heart attack on the gallops on Saturday morning.

Francis Graffard
Graffard wrote: "As a trainer you deal in life at its fullest: harnessing the power and the speed of the thoroughbred, coaxing horses into fulfilling their potential, at whatever level that might be, emotions high and low on a daily basis, constant contact with people – the hard-working members of the team, the owners eagerly awaiting their moment of joy, daily phone calls reporting on the health and well-being of their prized athletes.

"Death, when it strikes, comes as a shock, usually sudden and often traumatic for those who witness it."

'She made us feel alive'

Graffard went on to share a lovely description of the Volta he knew –and the traits that made her special.

"Volta brought us so much joy and through her we shared some fantastic wins, some disappointments and some hard-fought, gutsy losses that only elevated her standing in our eyes.

"Volta was full of life, she was talented, she was sometimes temperamental, she was regal in her regard, often full of disdain when staring down a rival, or a newly arrived stablemate who dared catch her eye.

"When she performed, like so many of the wonderful thoroughbreds that grace our lives, she made us all feel alive."

Graffard, whose full tribute can be read on his Facebook page, finished with the simple line: "Adieu ma Volta."

When she performed, like so many of the wonderful thoroughbreds that grace our lives, she made us all feel alive

Key data

Volta F-H Graffard
E.W. Terms