Monday, January 29, 2007

Barbaro, winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby, was euthanized on the morning of January 29, according to co-owner Roy Jackson. Barbaro suffered a major injury to his right hind leg shortly after the start of the 2006 Preakness Stakes.

According to Jackson, “We just reached a point where it was going to be difficult for him to go on without pain. It was the right decision, it was the right thing to do. We said all along if there was a situation where it would become more difficult for him then it would be time.”

Barbaro’s right hind leg was shattered in the opening lengths of the Preakness race. Three bones in the leg were broken – the cannon bone, the sesamoid bone, and the pastern bone. Laminitis took hold in the left hind leg as a result of the extra weight borne on the leg by the horse. It appeared for a while that Barbaro would recover; however, earlier this month, the horse suffered two significant setbacks that greatly reduced his ultimate chances for survival.

The three-year-old colt underwent emergency surgery on May 20 to fuse two joints in the damaged right leg. Further surgery was required on January 27 to insert two steel pins into one of the healed bones. The latest procedure was especially risky because it because it transferred more weight on to the leg, with the foot resting on the ground not bearing any weight. The right rear hoof was already deteriorating, having developed a painful abscess earlier in the week.

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