Monday, May 22, 2006

Good Luck, Kid

Hope you're getting some rest, Barbaro. You're a good boy.


ReneeW said...

What a tragedy! I read about this over the weekend and this breaks my heart. I know nothing about horses, but I can't believe this surgery is going to work. It just seems to me that the horse is going to suffer horribly.

The article I read quoted the surgeon who said "We're salvaging him as a breeding animial." There it is, the bottom line. They're going to be out millions if he doesn't survive. Well, what do I know, you're the horse expert. What do you think about this? Is this done a lot?

Suisan said...

If he can stay quiet, he should heal up OK.

The surgery is to fuse the entire lower leg--those joints will never work again. I've been around two horses with leg repairs--one chipped the front elbow and is a competitive trained stallion (although stunted in growth--the chip was in the growth plate) and the other was a horse with a broken stifle (upper hind leg joint--she hopped and was in pain, although she lived for years).

I heard that Barbaro's been very quiet, so that's good. Also, he's in racing weight, which means there's not much weight on the healing joint.

Mentally, though? You just never know how a young athletic horse is going to deal with weeks of stall rest and months of handwalking.

Lastly, breeding prospects? Well, he sure can run. But breeders get suspicious--is there a genetic predisposition for this break? Trainer had never run him with less than eight weeks rest between races. I'm sure he'll get mares, and with aritifical insemination, he'll probably not need back leg strength to mount a full sized mare.

Good chances he'll make it, but sad nonetheless. And gruesome to watch. What a wonderful jockey though.

Suisan said...

Meant to add--horses suffer differently than people. They either fall apart immediately, thrash, kick, and colic (which Barbaro didn't do), or they become quite stoic.

If he's got a good head on him and can trust his handlers, he'll heal up fine.

And if he remains stoic, it will be very hard to say if he's "suffering." He's very, very young, after all.

ReneeW said...

See, I figured you'd know more about this than me. The surgeon gave him a 50-50 chance. Very sad but it sounds like only time will tell how he will handle it mentally. Thanks.

Doug Hoffman said...

Just heard, he's flirting with the local mares. I'm not kidding. The vet was saying this is a good sign.

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