Sunday, May 21, 2006
Barbaro Survives Surgery
Excellent news: Barbaro survived a 6 hour surgery this afternoon and has walked back to his stall under his own power. He is by no means out of the woods, but surviving to this point is pretty damn amazing - most horses with leg injuries this severe never even make it into surgery. This article provides excellent information on the procedure, post-procedure, and the keys for the horse's survival going forward. It basically explains everything better than I ever could, like the fact that if a horse has a bone that is broken into 20 different pieces, and 6 hours later walks back to his stall on his own, then those equine veteranians are total and complete miracle workers.
The man on the right is a hell of
a trainer and a really nice guy.
The man on the left is a freaking wizard.
Thoroughbred race horses are amazing animals. At distances greater than 1/4 of a mile, they are the fastest animals on Earth. They weigh between 1200 - 1500 pounds and can run in excess of 35 miles per hour, yet their ankles are the same size as yours and mine. That's pretty mindboggling if you think about it for a minute.
As strong, muscular, and gallant as they are, they are also extremely fragile animals. Leg injuries to Thoroughbred race horses are rather common. But horses breaking down is not that common. The most heartbreaking thing about when they do is that unlike humans, they do not stop, but rather they keep on trying to run.
I was only 1 year old when the famous filly Ruffian broke down during a nationally televised match race and had to be euthanized. I was not yet into horse racing in 1990 when famous horse Go For Wand broke down in the Breeders Cup Distaff and had to be euthanized. I wasn't really into racing yet in 1993 ( I think I watched the Derby that year and that is all) when Union City broke down during the Preakness and had to be euthanized, and then three weeks later in the Belmont when the Preakness winner Prairie Bayou broke down and had to be euthanized.
I was very much into horse racing in 1999 when Charismatic broke down in the stretch run of the Belmont, but his life was saved during a through the night surgery and he survived to live a healthy life. I can only hope that Barbaro does the same. If he does he will become just as famous and beloved as if he had remained healthy and won the Triple Crown.