How one snapped, dangling leg changed a heart forever

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Horse Racing) — It’s Derby Day, Louisville’s biggest event of the year, even bigger than Christmas and most likely generates more revenue than that blessed event ever will.

There is nothing blessed about horse racing, especially the drug and death riddled variety put on in the USofA.

An example of whereof we speak was published yesterday by Horse Racing Wrongs by Patrick Battuello who catalogs the day to day death and disarray that is horse racing American style.

Here’s an excerpt or go there now.

As the horses were crossing the finish line, I noticed one stopped very abruptly and the little man on his back fell off onto the ground. The horse that had stopped was Mariano. As the other horses passed him, it became clear to me what the issue was. One of his front legs had completely snapped in half and was now dangling, held on by nothing more than the horse’s thin skin. I looked around and there were a few startled faces, but the vast majority just looked the other way or simply said to me “that’s just part of horse racing… it happens.” I knew right away that Mariano would be killed shortly after breaking his leg and that the races would continue on as if nothing happened. So I left, never to return.

There was something off about him breaking his leg. He didn’t trip. He didn’t fall. He didn’t run into any other horses. I know because I was standing RIGHT there. He was just a few feet away from me. He was just running. And then he wasn’t anymore.

Read the full story »

U.S. horse racing earlier this year patted itself on the back saying that fatalities were down again for another year.

We could be wrong but we suspect they are cooking the books or racetracks are under reporting, or possibly both. Reporting is purely voluntary and some breakdowns and deaths are not reported, so the public never has any true idea of what goes on. That’s how they like it. That’s how they want it. That’s how it’s going to be.

This is typical of a deadly, destructive industry living in a world according to its own order. Who is to hold them accountable. Horse racing has no Commissioner like other “sports”.  No one in particular is “in charge”. Millions and millions are bet on it. Don’t you find this odd?

Racehorses are the innocent victims of this ongoing barbarity. Will they ever be free? When will it all end?

READ MORE

If you think we are exaggerating, check out “10 Dark Secrets From the World of Horse Racing” from Listverse.com.

QUOTE

We leave you with this quote by Barry Petchesky, “Our Racehorses are broken America”, Deadspin.

“Our horses are sick. Our thoroughbreds are thoroughly inbred. They are locomotives sitting atop toothpicks. They are fragile and friable, designed to run but not to recover from running. And each time they break down or wear out, we chalk it up to an individual horse’s shortcomings, rather than the decades-long decline of the entire breeding industry”.

—-

FEATURED IMAGE
Horse in profile silhouetted against a night sky. Unattributed Google search image.

 

Barbaro died 10 years ago today. What’s changed?

Barbaro breaks down in the Preakness at Plimico.
Source: Bryant Photos.

Barbaro died 10 years ago today.

Barbaro’s public breakdown, numerous treatments and eventual death should have galvanized horse racing to deal with its equine athletes in a more ethical and compassionate manner.

What’s changed? Nothing. As a matter of fact, racehorse breakdowns and deaths are arguably worse.

Cheating and drugging, fueled by greed and ego, are as rampant as ever.

Racehorses are breaking down and dying at every level, in training and on the racecourse. A particular gut wrenching trend is the destruction of young horses who are being killed at an all time high at the tender age of two.

Don’t take our word for it.

You can follow the trail of injury and death at the Horse Racing Wrongs website compiled by Patrick Battuello.

New York alone killed 119 rachorses in 2016. And those are the recorded ones. Always bear in mind that the reporting of racehorse deaths is not demanded by any racing authority. It is purely voluntary.

Barbaro Timeline

Oct. 4, 2005 – He wins his first race at Delaware Park. Barbaro went on to win four additional racing contests prior to being entered into the Kentucky Derby.

May 6, 2006 – Barbaro wins the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs by 61/2 lengths, becoming a favorite to win the Triple Crown.

May 20, 2006 – A freak accident at the Preakness Stakes, held at Pimlico Raceway near Baltimore, results in the severe fracturing of Barbaro’s right-hind leg into 23 pieces, bringing on a life-threatening condition.

May 21, 2006 – Barbaro undergoes surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in East Marlborough. During the operation Dr. Dean Richardson, the chief surgeon, implants metal plates with 23 screws into the horse’s badly fractured leg with the aim of stabilizing it. Following surgery, Barbaro was lowered into a specialized, heated water tank with a sling. The tank, complete with a rubber raft, allowed the animal to come out of sedation without reinjuring the leg. Following surgery, Barbaro is given a 50-50 chance of survival.

July 13, 2006 – Barbaro develops a case of severe laminitis in his left-hind hoof, resulting from the horse’s having shifted his weight to that leg during recovery from surgery. The horse’s laminitic leg is placed into a special boot and Barbaro is given painkillers. During a procedure, called a hoof-wall resection, 80 percent of Barbaro’s left-rear hoof is removed.

Aug. 2, 2006 – Richardson announces that the fractured leg has fused to the point where the cast on the right-rear leg would have been replaced, had the left-rear leg not become injured. He says signs are encouraging.

Aug. 15, 2006 – Barbaro is reported to have gone outside to graze for the first time since the accident.

Aug. 17, 2006 – Richardson announces Barbaro is supporting his own weight and use of the support sling has been discontinued.

Aug. 18, 2006 – Radiographs show that Barbaro’s fractured leg has completely fused.

Sept. 26, 2006 – It is announced that Barbaro’s cast would not be replaced as long as he was comfortable in it and the left-rear hoof had regrown by 18 millimeters and the support shoe had been replaced with a bandage. Richardson says, at this point, the hoof still needed to grow three times that length, which he estimated could take six months.

Oct. 10, 2006 – Richardson says Barbaro’s cast and protective shoe were changed and that the injured hoof is showing recovery from laminitis.

Nov. 6, 2006 – Six months after his Kentucky Derby victory, Barbaro’s cast is permanently removed and replaced with a splinted bandage. No new problems are reported with Barbaro’s injured hoof.

Dec. 12, 2006 – The splinted bandage on Barbaro’s right-hind leg is removed.

Jan. 3, 2007 – A cast is placed on Barbaro’s laminitic left-hind leg.

Jan. 10, 2007 – Richardson announces another section of Barbaro’s left-hind hoof has been removed.

Jan. 27, 2007 – Barbaro undergoes additional surgery to insert two additional steel pins into the healed bones of his right-hind leg that theoretically would allow the horse to bear more weight. The procedure involved the risk of refracturing Barbaro’s leg.

Jan. 29, 2007 – Barbaro is euthanized at the request of owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson of West Grove.

When a “scratched” racehorse is actually dead

Cross-posted from Horse Racing Wrongs
by PATRICK BATTUELLO

It’s hard to say how many fatal paddock fractures and “sudden cardiac events” occur just prior to scheduled races, for these deaths are typically buried as mere “vet scratches” on the official race charts.

Sometimes, though, insight comes from other sources, sources like California’s publicly-posted stewards minutes. In the last week of July, there were two such incidents:

July 29, 7-year-old Merry Moon, “deceased” prior to the 3rd at Los Alamitos

July 30, 3-year-old Tiz a Lucky One, “euthanized” prior to the 8th at Santa Rosa

Both, scratches on Equibase because, you know, dead horses can’t run.


READ MORE

• The Inevitability of Dead Racehorse
The Inevitability Of Dead Racehorses

• The Big Lie
The Big Lie

14 Racehorses “Vanned Off” in New Mexico Over Past Three Days

Cross-posted from Horse Racing Wrongs
by PATRICK BATTUELLO

JULY 11, 2016

Sunday . . .

• Oh If I Catch You, Albuquerque, “bled, vanned off”

• Running Fauzett, Albuquerque, “bled, vanned off”

• Diamond Street, Belmont, “reported after the race to have bled”

• Templer Glory, Gulfstream, “vanned off”

• Gentlmens Agrement, Gulfstream, “vanned off” after winning “under steady urging”

• Sovereign Knight, Mountaineer, “vanned off”

• Barnstorming, Parx, “vanned off”

• Miles of Magic, Prairie, “vanned off”

• Streakinjess for Lmg, Ruidoso, “vanned”

• Memphis D Nasty, Ruidoso, “vanned”

The state of New Mexico can be particularly proud: Between its two currently active tracks (Albuquerque and Ruidoso), 14 different horses were ambulanced off over the past three days. It’s likely that many – a majority? – of those are dead.

FEATURED IMAGE
Source: A racehorse stretches out as he is urged toward the line at a racetrack in New Mexico. NewMexicoHorsemen.com. Photographer not cited.

(source: Equibase)

RELATED READING

The Inevitability of Dead Racehorses »
A Plea to Bettors »