Monday, June 2, 2008

Running Big Brown on a quarter crack

Big Brown — the horse who won the Kentucky Derby, where Eight Belles broke down — has reportedly come up with a quarter crack in one hoof. Despite the fact that so many racehorses are destroyed by foot and leg injuries, his owner is still planning to run Big Brown in the Belmont Stakes on June 7, 2008.

I heard about this almost a week ago from a discussion group I belong to, and have since accumulated some information. First of all, here is a picture of a quarter crack; granted, this one may be far worse than Big Brown's, but it should still give you an idea of the gravity of the injury they are dealing with.

Big Brown's hoof specialist has gone to the media claiming the quarter crack is superficial, and perhaps it is. However, that doesn't mean it still will be after the race. Running that hard on even a slight quarter crack could be devastating to the injured hoof.

Another thing that bothers me is that there was an abcess and an infection. That's no small matter, even if they have managed to get rid of it temporarily.

Big Brown's owner and trainer want him to secure a Triple Crown, winning a trio of races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont (the first two of which he's already won). But is this high victory worth risking the life and well-being of the horse? I don't believe so.

I guess we'll have to wait until June 7th to find out Big Brown's fate for sure. All I can say is that if Big Brown breaks down, and we lose yet another horse this season, it'll be the end of the racing industry for sure!

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