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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Long-Awaited Comeback of Overdose: Laminitis Recovery for the Hungarian Wonder Horse

"Does he look ready to you, Hoof Blog Friends?" Hungarian Thoroughbred trainer Sandor Ribarszki holds the left front foot of his country's idol racehorse "Overdose" in Neuenhagen near Berlin, Germany, last week. Overdose suffered from laminitis more than a year ago. He seems to have hoof casting tape or a wrap (as suggested by one reader--I assumed it was tape since it is so prevalent these days) on this left front and a glue-on shoe on his right front. The Hoof Blog has had a lot of readers from Hungary in the past year; perhaps they are learning about laminitis treatments used on their national hero. Overdose's folkloric comeback is reported on web updates in all sorts of languages. Photo from fOTOGLIF EPA/TIM BRAKEMEIER
Overdose's return to racing has been pushed back again: the racing press in Europe reported him scratched from a race in Berlin, Germany today, but entered in a race at Royal Ascot in England over Memorial Day weekend. That's a tall order for a horse recovering from laminitis. The five-year-old has a huge following all over the world and over 1,000 Facebook fans. They call him "The Budapest Bullet". He's the winningest racehorse to come out of Hungary in generations. Photo from fOTOGLIF EPA/TIM BRAKEMEIER

This video slide show of images of Overdose has a soundtrack of one-liners from the US film Seabiscuit. There are a lot of parallels between the two horses. Overdose was purchased for 2000 pounds in England and went on to win there and in Germany, Italy, Hungary and France. He is the national hero of Hungary and the Hungarians want to see him run again.

Just watch him run; this race was at the beautiful Baden-Baden spa in Germany. It's fun to watch this clip just to listen to the call.

16 May 2010 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog at
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rather rapid said...

too bad for Overdose. equilox like material over the hoof wall is to be avoided at all costs as it destroys the hoof wall fairly quickly over time--see Big Brown.

Fran Jurga said...

Hi Mr. Rapid,

The adhesive does come into contact with the hoof wall, in this case by impregnating the casting tape (left foot) or spectra-cloth collar (right foot) but it is routinely used each day in countless horses without any ill effects. I don't think you'd want to use it for more than a few months, but the short-term benefits are huge.

Big Brown's hoof problems began as wall separations in the heel areas, so his hoof wall problems completely preceded any use of adhesive. I think Ian McKinlay would tell you that adhesive was his salvation, not his downfall, and made it possible for him to run in and win two legs of the Triple Crown.

People always talk about how that horse lost the Triple Crown but the fact that he raced in and won the Derby and Preakness with the condition of his feet is often undervalued.

rather rapid said...

txs. for reply and nice Overdose write up! I will disagree, respectfully on the equilox. McKinlay's work on Big Brown imo was textbook overreaction and what you avoid doing because there are other less radical solutions to minor hoof wall separation. In defense of my view, note that Big Brown's hoofs did not get better after McKinlay appeared on the scene. They only got worse and worse.


Fran Jurga said...

Mr Rapid,

The fact that the horse raced in and won two Triple Crown races was quite an accomplishment. Perhaps the hooves did not improve, but the horse was able to train and run, which is what his owners wanted. Whether that was the best thing for the horse is debatable, but the materials made it possible. At least they had a choice.

Anonymous said...

It appears to be a Sigofoos shoe on the right front, but doesn't it appear to be a wrap on the left front? I would expect a cast to be either lower (around the coronet) or higher (to the fetlock).

The cuff of the Sigafoos shoe is made of Vectran (tm), and I have many horses who live in these glue on shoes for years without ill effect.

Fran Jurga said...

Thanks for your opinion. I just assumed it was casting tape, I see it everywhere. I do not know that the right front is a sigafoos shoe, I only suggested that it might be. I just put these photos up because I like the horse so much, and have been following his progress for the past year without benefit of translation. He runs beautifully, in any language, when he runs.

T. N. Trosin said...

I'm not quite certain where the Rapid guy is coming from with his comments concerning Acrylic hoof repair products. Having used nothing but acrylic products to repair quarter cracks for the last decade plus, the horses I have used those products on have suffered no ill effects from the acrylic products. Hoof balance issues that were part and parcel with the quarter cracks perhaps, but certainly not from the acrylic products.

Fran Jurga said...

Thanks for checking in, Tom. Mr Rapid, as I affectionately call him, is a frequent commenter who thinks long and hard about everything to do with the science of training racehorses and has definite ideas about how the hooves should be cared for and shod. Don't we all!

T. N. Trosin said...

Well sometimes high school dropout horsemanship trumps science and deep thought.

Fran Jurga said...

Easy, Tommy. I believe he is a hands-on trainer, if I recall correctly. Differences of opinions and training methods are what makes it a horse race...and keeps people interested enough to bet!

Thanks very much to all who comment on these stories, or pass them on. I wish I had more details about Overdose's feet...I am working on it (in several languages).