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Re: [RC] [RC] Barbaro - SandyDSA

Would that the Thoroughbred breeders/owners/trainers/registry begin a deliberate program to weed out of its system breeding stock with anything other than the most substantial and solid legs. Hard to say what factor was the greatest in the breakdown, but in the years that I worked on the track and in the years since, the steady decline of leg quality saddens me. It isn't enough in my mind to BE fast or be out of PARENTS who are fast; the horses being bred must be more substantially built, else we will see more horses suffer this kind of injury. In fact, no one knows the level of lower leg, life-ending injury that is apparent in the backstretch - in lesser known races, in exercising, etc. I saw a few - enough - to convince me that leg QUALITY - not always diameter but that is part of it - must be a top priority in any athletically challenged horse. That said, the horses used for endurance have substance but poor leg conformation. For the sake of the horses, those with issues that cause continual setback or breakdown should be eliminated at LEAST from the gene pool.
In the end, we look at our horses - in many cases for us - the Arabian horse - and find those faults that cause breakdown, shortened career, shortened life - and TRY to at least eliminate them from the breeding pool. That great show horse who is such a bargain - won't be such a bargain in endurance when, at 28 or 32 miles, the horse's hips have had enough - from table top croup; or that "snaky neck" has just a few pound son the front end that wears on the front legs. The litany of preventable faults goes on - we see them, we breed them, we ride them - for God's sake, for the horses' sake, let's not propagate the faults that cause this kind of critical and heart-breaking scenario. My heart goes out to the owners, the vets, trainer Michael Matz - a gentleman and a scholar in his field - and to the valiant Barbaro who had no choice in the matter but chose to fight anyway.
Now, I think I will go out and play with our yearlings - who have awesome bone, straight legs, solid hoofies, and big ol' butts! Just like we want 'em! Goon night Barbaro - you were a champ!