Saturday, January 26, 2008

Toe Clips Making a Comeback on the Track?

Happy Feet, originally uploaded by Rock and Racehorses.

Here's a lovely shot of the hooves of Lawyer Ron, caught before he stepped off Ray Amato's famous black mats outside trainer Todd Pletcher's barn at the Oklahoma track in Saratoga.

Note two things about this photo: 1) the toe clips! and 2) no toe grabs! and, while you're at it, the depth of heel on the near side. Many racehorses are dismissed as having low heels but Lawyer Ron seems to be doing just fine. He just turned five.

Lawyer Ron won the Eclipse Award this week for best older stakes horse.

Todd Pletcher is often imitated around the backstretch; I wonder if we'll be seeming more toe clips this year!

By the way, a detailed presentation and forum on toe grabs is scheduled for the AFA convention in Lexington, KY on March 1; toe grabs will also be on the agenda of the second Racehorse Welfare and Safety Summit, hosted by the Grayson Foundation/Jockey Club on March 17-18. Mr. Pletcher is on the hoofcare committee that has been studying toe grabs.

PS I don't think Todd Pletcher would tolerate messy wrapping, in case you are wondering about that. I think the near bandage was probably pushed up during shoeing. The off has probably been rewrapped.

Thanks to Sarah Andrews for the image to post.


Anonymous said...

ummm....if you are looking at the picture on the face of this blog, those are not FRONT feet, those are HINDS...

Anonymous said...

Yes, agreed. Toe clips on hind feet are not that unusual.

Anonymous said...

No, I was not "surprize" at the clips on the hinds... She had FIRST said that the picture was of ..." a lovely shot of the FRONT hooves of Lawyer Ron"..... But has since corrected that and just said...."Here's a lovely shot of the hooves of Lawyer Ron..."

Anonymous said...

Yes, these are hind hooves. Ouch for the front hooves/legs that get a taste of the toe clips....and the right hind (the chestnut leg) hoof is slightly twisting to the outside (note the hairline angle vs the outside wall.....and verticle inside wall) You can also see the shift to the outside by the horn tubules (verticle lines on the hoof....they are straight right at the coronet and after about 1 to 1 1/2 inch point to the outside. Toe clip is centered, but amount of hoof on outside is more than the inside.... classic subtle flare hmmmmmmmmm.
Without seeing a side view, it's hard to see if there truly is heel UNDER the horse, as I see bare shoe coming out the back of the left hind.....just observations.