Thursday, November 09, 2006

Barbaro: A Champion, Still

Against long odds, the fractures in Barbaro’s right hind leg--sustained during his running of the Preakness Stakes--have healed.

On November 6th, veterinary surgeons removed the cast from Barbaro’s right hind leg. For the first time since May, no replacement cast was put on.

According to Barbaro's head surgeon, Dr. Dean Richardson, a long road still lies ahead. Back in July, Barbaro’s left rear foot developed laminitis, a serious, potentially fatal inflammation. As a consequence, he lost most of his left rear hoof wall. Although the final outcome is still uncertain, the good news is that the hoof is slowly regrowing.

The team of veterinary surgeons, technicians, and support staff at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center deserve kudos and a standing ovation for bringing Barbaro this far. I understand their caution. And yet, I believe this gallant horse will, ultimately, claim victory. On that day, look for a picture of Barbaro here: cast-, splint-, and bandage-free, at liberty, grazing grass in bright Pennysylvania sunshine.


Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you!
As a life-long horse lover, I really appreciate the update. I had heard that there were plans to remove the cast, but had not seen anything since. My heart sank that tragic Saturday in Baltimore, and again during the summer when he had to have surgery for the laminitis (is anyone else old enough to remember Secretariat?).
Barbaro seems enough of a fighter that he'll get to the breeding barns. Here's hoping so. He truly was a remarkable horse on the track, and even now, showing that champion spirit to beat the odds. Way to go, Barbaro!
Thanks for the great update!

Christine Fletcher said...

I do remember Secretariat's death due to laminitis. Such a terrible disease. If good wishes could grow hoof wall, Barbaro ought to be in good shape!

Anonymous said...

Having 6 horses of her own, Laura has become a believer in 'Natural hoof care', i.e. no shoes all year round, 'natural' trimming technique. The basic idea is to re-create the wear pattern that mustangs manage in their daily travels, vs. aggressive trimming followed by application of a shoe, every 6 weeks. (It's a lot cheaper than having the farrier in). It takes a year for the horse's hoof to get all the benefits of this, but even after only 6 months Diamond the Wonder Horse has developed noticeable callous on his sole and he is no longer tender on gravel. Anyway, the germaine point is that some horses with rotated coffin bones have had their coffins un-rotate with appropriate 'natural' trimming, with no special shoes at all. See

Anonymous said...

Last part is .com/natural-hoof-trimming.html

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