Monday, January 29, 2007

A Champion in Life, A Legend in Death

It was a sad day for everyone that has followed his story with admiration. Eight months after breaking down on the track during the Preakness Stakes, Barbaro finally succumbed to his injuries and was euthanized this morning. The decision was made by Dr. Dean Richardson after he informed the horse's owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson of the discomfort Barbaro was in following his latest setback.

It was an unexpected end for the champion thoroughbred, who only a month ago was on the verge of being released from the New Bolton Center after doctors declared him healthy. However, in the past few weeks Barbaro took a turn for the worst. Yesterday, after performing a risky surgery on his right hind leg, the same one he shattered in the Preakness, doctors discovered that he had developed the deadly laminitis disease in all three of his other hoofs. The result meant that Barbaro had no remaining healthy legs to help bear his weight. With his chances of surviving minimal and his discomfort greater than ever the decision was made to end the battle.

Barbaro retired an undefeated champion winning all six of his races including the 2006 Kentucky Derby. An inspirational story that may develop a Hollywood ending in the coming years as Barbaro's dam La Ville Rouge is currently pregnant with what will be a full brother to the legendary horse. The foal is expected in early spring and just perhaps might be the early favorite for the 2010 Triple Crown.

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