Sunday, May 21, 2006

Barbaro's Break down...

I saw the Barbaro win the Kentucky Derby but didn't watch the Preakness... I just came online to find news that Barbaro broke down early in the race, and there were plenty of pictures of him limping badly on his right rear leg.

I really thought that we might see a triple crown winner this year with his large lead in the derby... but that's gone now. He might recover to be used as a stud, but his injuries seem pretty bad. I found a few news stories but they all said he 'fractured his ankle' (not written by a horse person...) but I finally came across one that described his injuries in more detail:

"Barbaro sustained a broken cannon bone above the ankle, a broken sesamoid bone behind the ankle and a broken long pastern bone below the ankle. The fetlock joint - the ankle - was dislocated. " http://www.forbes.com/business/energy/feeds/ap/2006/05/21/ap2761948.html

Wow, he's really lucky to still be alive. Any other horse would probably just have been euthanized immediately. They mention that he was placed in a pool so he could awaken from the anesthesia without stressing out the leg, but how will they keep the weight off the leg for the long months it will take to heal? Slings? I have heard of keeping horses suspended while legs heal but have never actually known someone who has done that with a horse.


  • Do you know if it is possible that Barbaro was racing on performance-enhancing drugs or pain killers that may have allowed him to race on a slightly-fractured leg? What is the status of drug use and testing in horse racing?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:24 AM, June 12, 2006  

  • Hi there!

    I recently found your blog, and I've really enjoyed reading it. I'd love to link to it on my blog (http://equestrianadventurer.com/eqablog) and get a link back, if possible.

    Let me know and keep up the great work!!

    By Anonymous Cate, at 11:11 AM, June 15, 2006  

  • To "anonymous" about Barbaro--
    Anything is possible, but what you suggest is pretty far-fetched. If anyone knew of a possible injury that Barbaro had, he would not have been raced in all likelyhood. The expenses and risks of racing an injured horse, especially one with a fracture, are high.

    All leg injuries are serious issues, and a fracture can be life-threatening. No sane owner would race a horse with a slight fracture and risk that animal's being injured further, especially since it would result in high expenses and months of recovery. However, it is possible that he injured his leg prior to the race, I suppose, and no one knew about it. Although a racehorse's health is monitored constantly, injuries can still happen. He could have slipped or banged his leg out the gate. Horses are large, fast animals and often injure themselves in the strangest ways-- rolling in a pasture, slipping while bucking, etc. The most likely scenario is that he mis-stepped or slipped during the race and fractured his leg.

    The care he is getting now is unheard of, the average horse with a fracture would be euthanized immediately (the average owner could not afford the high-end care he is receving, and if they could, finding a vet who could handle that type of injury would be difficult). But because Barbaro is a 'high-quaily' racehorse, it looks like he will get a chance to recover and perhaps go on to live as a stud.

    By Blogger Annamaria, at 11:16 AM, June 16, 2006  

  • I watched the Preakness and that injury was nasty. You could tell right away that he had broken something. It's a miracle that he's alive. I am soooooo glad that he is getting better.

    By Anonymous Dancer, at 9:52 AM, July 08, 2006  

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