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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Barbaro breakdown threatens champion racehorse's life...and racing's image

(Photo of Barbaro at left was taken by Dorothy Ours at Churchill Downs in early May)

By now, everyone knows that 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro broke down in the Preakness Stakes today. As I write this, he is being transported to the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary teachning hospital outside Philadelphia, where he will be examined and plans made for surgery to repair his broken hind leg. Or, worse case scenario, he will be euthanized.

An interesting fact from
>>Gretchen Jackson is involved in several organizations, including being an Overseer on the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School; and a board member of Thoroughbred Charities of America and Anna House, the Belmont Park day-care center.<< end quote

Gretchen Jackson is co-owner of Barbaro, with her husband, Roy. They live right down the street from New Bolton Center, the large animal hospital and research facility in Kennett Square, PA, where their horse is tonight a patient. New Bolton is not far from Pimlico but the trip must have been tough for the horse and his human connections.

I wrote about the great stallion Nureyev years ago at Walmac International in Lexington, KY. He shattered his right hind leg below the hock in a paddock accident. He was a very smart and cooperative horse and survived surgery and recovery to become one of racing's all-time leading sires. Nureyev lived in a sling in an extra-long stall for months. Of course, he was not racing-fit at the time of his accident.

Text and photos © 2006 Hoofcare Publishing. Text and photos posted on “The HoofBlog”, a casual news source for subscribers and friends of Hoofcare & Lameness: The Journal of Equine Foot Science. Learn more (and subscribe online using our secure server) at or write to Hoofcare Publishing, 19 Harbor Loop, Gloucester MA 01930 USA. Tel USA 978 281 3222; Fax 978 283 8775, or email

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