Sunday, May 21, 2006

Barbaro Down. Sucks.

It seems the Triple Crown has become an insurmountable obstacle lately. Whether or not luck, some dumbass not seeing to the proper operation of the gates, or a pure wild eyed wanna-kick-somebody's-ass stud bangin' hell out of everything in sight brought on the injury to the bones making up Barbaro's pastern joint (near as I can tell from the bullshit the vet had to say) I don't know, but I am getting tired of seeing these babies (they aren't much more than that) hurt at every turn. If they don't kill this horse I'll be shocked.

How about we race five year olds. Horses would be stronger. More sound. They could actually have a career. Racing would be well served with some continuity from year to year, training could take place over a longer span of time, the physically unfit could be weeded out, and times would come down. Why can no one run with Secretariat? After 35 years of advancement in equine nutrition, training, genetics, and care and while human performance records are broken daily, it seems.

I'm not sayin' horses should not be trained in their early developement - there is research to suggest that early training done properly actually initiates strengthening of equine bone structure and connective tissue. Perhaps, though some thought should be given to letting the developement of stonger bones continue before we let them stampede over a race course with their buddies.


Richardson outlined Barbaro's medical problems: 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.

Folks, that is bad. The sesamoid bones are two bones wrapped in connective tissue at the back of the fetlock joint and together they provide a fulcrum for the propulsive forces transmitted to the foot by the Deep Flexor Tendon. Think of it as a bridge on a stringed instrument. It takes a lot of tension to break that thing, and it will complicate the chances for recovery. No one has said if the bones were simply fractured or actually displaced.
Remember horse racing is a business and they may decide his insurance is a better bet than his breeding prospects. Let's hope the owners take off the accountants hat and put on their horseman's cap.

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