FanDuel - WFBC

January 29, 2007

Barbaro Euthanized:

posted by SummersEve to general at 12:01 PM - 48 comments

All jokes aside, a sad albeit predictable ending to a very drawn out process. Dick Jeradi, the guy who wrote this, does a great job covering horse-racing (among many other things he covers) and he did a great job covering the Barbaro saga.

posted by SummersEve at 12:04 PM on January 29

definitely very sad to hear this, but honestly after the recent developments it seemed to me it was just a matter of time. i have somewhat followed the developments of this story since barbaro suffered this injury, and I feel as if his ability to recover enough to be brought to stud was shaky at best. i feel sorry for the horse for what he went though after his injury and wonder if the owners would have went through the same lengths to save a horse with less earning potential. also, i wonder if anyone would consider his treatment after his injury cruel? R.I.P Barbaro

posted by erkno11 at 12:16 PM on January 29

It makes me wonder about this wisdom of the owners deciding to go the multiple surgery route. There are very good reasons why horses with broken legs are euthanized. Instead, they dragged out this into a very long and very painful ordeal.

posted by bperk at 12:16 PM on January 29

Just heard this on the news and came here. Sad day. Thought he was gonna pull through, based on him making it this far. RIP Barbaro.

posted by vito90 at 12:23 PM on January 29

I will not be the first person to crap all over this thread. I can hardly wait to be the second or third, though. All in all, a predictable outcome and a weird, weird story.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:24 PM on January 29

I'm sure what bperk said will be the debate for the next several days. I can kinda see both sides. At least there isn't a "what if". But the very obvious flip-side is what this poor animal had to go through. The question is was it for the greater good, or was it self centered? If they figured out a way to treat or cure laminitis, well then it would have been all worth it. But if they only did it for P.R. purposes, then it's pretty slimy. I guess we'll never really know. Hopefully they learned something along the way, even if it is as simple as to just put the thing down ASAP. Weedy, Is this what you're thinking ... You insensitive bastard?

posted by SummersEve at 12:46 PM on January 29

Damn! Damn! Damn!

posted by commander cody at 01:10 PM on January 29

I was watching the news at lunch and the anchor was talking about the latest surgery. All of a sudden he stops and says, "We just got an update, Barbaro has been euthanized." I knew it wouldn't be long for there to be thread about it. I used to wonder why they put horses down just because of a broken leg. I thought with all the advances of modern medicine that surely there was something that could be done. If anything, this ordeal has taught me a lot about horses and horse racing.

posted by MrFrisby at 01:28 PM on January 29

I love animals, and it is too bad. An absolute specimen of a horse, just beautiful. But, I agree with those above in wondering if it was in the horse's best interest to keep operating on him. It seems humane that he's finally passed on. It would be nice to assume all humans could expect the same type of health care Barbaro received these past several months.

posted by dyams at 02:00 PM on January 29

But, I agree with those above in wondering if it was in the horse's best interest to keep operating on him. That decision is one that is rarely totally clear-cut even when dealing with human beings whose survival is threatened by multiple medical issues. Neither surgery nor any other medical procedure has any guarantee of success. With the benefit of hindsight, maybe some of those involved will do tihngs differently next time, if there is a next time for them. At the same time (and pardon me if this sounds like a paradox) that doesn't necessarily make their past decisions the wrong ones. Sometimes you have to go there before you know that something that was your "worst outcome" previously (death) is now the best of a really crappy set of choices. Rest in peace.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:15 PM on January 29

Well it's about damn time! Nothing to see here folks, keep the line moveing please.

posted by Folkways at 02:33 PM on January 29

After reading the latest update today, I also felt that Barbaro had come to the end of the trail. Crappy choice yes, but all in all something that needed to happen according to the information available. Saddens the hearts of all who love the 'sport of kings'. The beauty of watching Barbaro was breathtaking. A magnificent horse, gone from us too soon. Rest In Peace.

posted by brbcca at 02:35 PM on January 29

Finally, That horse got better medical attention than most people do. He would have been put down a long time ago had it not been for the monetary value of his potential stud fees. They probably got some frozen sperm before they put him down. Hope they try to clone him.

posted by Atheist at 02:41 PM on January 29

Okay, I'll come clean. I'm really touched by this story, and it makes me sad. Watching Dr. Richardson in his press conference makes me sad. Reminds me of putting a dog down a couple years ago. So I admit it: Animals dying makes me sad.

posted by SummersEve at 03:35 PM on January 29

And... I'll believe them when they say they could manage the pain until the very end. They tried. Good for them for trying.

posted by SummersEve at 03:37 PM on January 29

This being on the front page of CNN.com for a couple of hours this afternoon (over yet another batch of deaths in Iraq) made Joe 'one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic' Stalin beam in his grave, I'm sure. (Weedy, you can now feel free to crap all over the thread, hopefully in a way which is humorous and makes me optimistic about humankind, instead of depressed and dreary like mine.)

posted by tieguy at 04:52 PM on January 29

Finally, That horse got better medical attention than most people do. Hmm, I guess if it can be afforded...

posted by hellamarine at 06:04 PM on January 29

Maybe there is the potential for a positive outcome in all of this. This was quite a unique solution that brought together what seems to be a reasonably common problem with horses -- a broken leg -- with an ownership group that had the means to provide the highest quality medical care to a horse in that condition and the motive to spare no expense to get the horse well. Perhaps veterinary science gained some insight from this regarding what is and is not possible with a horse in that condition. At worst, maybe the conclusion is that you have to put the horse down -- that we simply are not equipped at this stage to get a horse in that condition back onto four healthy legs -- and in the future destroying the horse can be done with a cleaner conscience, knowing that nothing more can be done even in the best circumstances. At best, perhaps despite this failure the doctors gained some insight into what went wrong and medicine can move toward a place where future horses might be saved. If I'm right, the perceived selfishness of Barbaro's owners may end up serving a greater good. Or maybe this is just a stupid tragedy, and I'm trying to rationalize torturing a poor horse for months.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:00 PM on January 29

Just because it was a racehorse doesn't mean that it wasn't loved by the owners.With owners becoming more and more involved with day to day operations and being around the animal more some people come to see it as a pet. And with any pet putting it to "sleep" is almost the last resort.

posted by jda at 07:54 PM on January 29

My wife started crying this afternoon when I broke the news to her, and I must admit I had a bit of mist in the eye myself. When Barbaro broke his leg, I was sure he would be put down that day. When I heard that the effort would be made to save him, I knew that the primary motivator was the potential earnings from stud fees, not any love for the animal. I had hoped the owners and medical staff were aware of some revolutionary technique, but I see now that there was nothing really new there. It is sad that the animal had to suffer, even just a bit, to satisfy humans who were just after a buck. Sometimes I like horses a lot better than people.

posted by Howard_T at 07:57 PM on January 29

Sometimes I like horses a lot better than people. Sure. It's way easier to like a horse than a person. I can appreciate people's attachment to their pets. It's just that the whole Barbaro phenomenon has been, well, ridiculous. Occassionally sweet, and a little educational, but mostly ridiculous. I'm half convinced a good part of Barbaro's appeal was his name. It has that faint hint of Toto and Old Yeller. It rolls off the tongue and can end in a whisper or bellowed like a battle cry (Spoon!). If his name was something like "Sam's Fastest Chance" or "Two for a Dollar" or "Magenta Hotfoot" or something maybe he'd be remembered like that horse that no one remembers was euthanized .40 calibre-style a few months ago (that I can't remember).

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:05 PM on January 29

Barbaro wasn't kept alive for future breeding dollars as some of the misinformed would love to believe. Barbaro wasn't an ordinary horse, he was a Champion. I was 50 yards from the finish line at Churchill Downs when he left the rest of the field behind to win the Derby and fulfill the dreams of the owners. When he broke the gate at the Preakness, to me it showed what kind of Champion he really was and if not for the tragedy that occurred that day, myself and many experts felt he had a great shot of winning the Triple Crown, the first since Affirmed close to 30 years ago. The owners had the means, more than enough money (enough where they need not worry about future stud fees) and love for the creature that made their dreams come true to try to save him. They were Major contributors to one of the best animal hospital facilitys in the country and it was located in their own back yard, so if the Vet gave him even the lousy 5% chance he did, why not go for it. From the git. the doc said it was going to be a long, long, battle and as soon as Barbaro got to the point where the pain was too much and they couldn't keep him comfortable, the Battle would be ended. Well, after just a month ago, when it seemed like The Champ was only weeks away from moving to the beautiful green pastures of Kentucky, this turn for the worse occured and now, for the sake of The Champ, the Battle is over. May be hard for some to believe, but it's not always about the money. I went on ebay after returning from the Derby this year to find an 8x10 of Barbaro. I actually found one of Barbaro crossing the finish line and in the background, dead center, right above Barbaros back, up in the first row of the infield bleachers was a shot of me and my buddy cheering him on. I contacted the photographer and he hooked me up with a poster sized, I have framed and hanging on the wall. It'll stay there along with the other greats, Go For Wand, Ruffian, Secretariat and the rest, til the day my Battle is over. Howard, believe me, Buddy, you and the wife weren't the only ones shedding tears today.

posted by Fungooli at 11:01 PM on January 29

Awesome perspective Fungooli, thanks.

posted by vito90 at 11:25 PM on January 29

We just lost a Triple Crown winner that never was, a modern day Seabiscuit. A legend like Seattle Slew, Secretariat, or Affirmed. RIP Barbaro.

posted by LA_Dude at 12:22 AM on January 30

Fungooli put it well...there was no ego in play or thoughts of big bucks to be gained; everybody who touched that horse felt an instant admiration and love; he worked with the medics, adapting to slings, hoists, pins, plates, casts...every tool used in his behalf. He was never tortured nor was any prolonging of his life causing misery....his responses to surgery were beyond belief, everyone admired his stamina, his desire to live and his smarts. The medical staff and owners monitored his well being from the very beginning and all agreed that when it became obvious that he was suffering, it was time to quit. My heart goes out to Dr. Richardson and his staff and to the owners and the trainer and Edgar Prado, the jockey who acted so quickly and humanely the instant of the accident....they all must be devastated. One cannot work with an animal of this temperment for such a long time without developing a bond that cannot be defined. I speak as a veterinarian who practiced for 50 years; it is a feelng that you have to live to appreciate. A little bit of you dies with every animal that succumbs under your care and you always wonder "could I have done more?" They are never "just animals" and Barbaro was one in a million, worthy of every ounce of love from those around him.

posted by jazzdog at 12:46 AM on January 30

What would the media reaction and public sentiment been had Barbaro been put down soon after his injury at the Preakness? I'm guessing most people might have reacted with strong criticism for not making an attempt to heal his leg. Personally, I tip my hat to all involved for trying to save such a beautiful and gifted horse. You were one of a kind Barbaro.

posted by danjel at 01:03 AM on January 30

Finally, That horse got better medical attention than most people do. He would have been put down a long time ago had it not been for the monetary value of his potential stud fees. They probably got some frozen sperm before they put him down. Hope they try to clone him. posted by Atheist If they could get "frozen sperm" why would they spend so much money to keep Barbaro alive? That's as logically flawed as the rest of your argument. And what is it with you and horses? Did you not get a pony as a child? I had hoped the owners and medical staff were aware of some revolutionary technique, but I see now that there was nothing really new there. It is sad that the animal had to suffer, even just a bit, to satisfy humans who were just after a buck. Sometimes I like horses a lot better than people. posted by Howard_T Because they failed it was all about the money? Am I missing something? I know plenty of pet owners that would spend every last cent they could, wise or not, to keep their pet alive. These people had the money to try, and I'm not sure how you can look at their reactions and think it's all about the money. If it was all about the money we'd still be reading about more emergency procedures. They almost pulled it off, and when it got too tough they put the horse down. I fail to see where the hate is coming from.

posted by justgary at 01:45 AM on January 30

I doubt it was about future earning potential. The chances of Barabaro ever recovering enough to be able to cover a mare were so slight that it was pretty much an impossibility. And in Thoroughbred Horse racing foals must be conceived naturally in order for them to be registered and allowed race. Therefore having sperm frozen, or whatever, would do the owners no good, financially. It might cheer them up to have a chance of an offspring about the place, but under current rules it could never race. It is a sad end for Barbaro, but racing is often a sad sport.

posted by Fence at 03:00 AM on January 30

I love a rodeo where the rider gets mauled by the bull or horses. I love a horse race where a rider gets the shit kicked out of him in the starting gate. Horse racing is cruel. Rodeos are cruel. And what they did to that horse was inexcusable. Rot in hell you rich bastards.

posted by 3pounddickey at 09:56 AM on January 30

Fungooli, thanks for including Ruffian in that list of greats. She holds a special spot for me. My father was a thoroughbred trainer when I was growing up, and I vividly remember him crying when she broke down in that stupid race.

posted by hawkguy at 10:44 AM on January 30

I LOVED THE BIG FELLA! REST IN PEACE! And Weedy, why is it when you attempt a humorous post on a thread like this you're funny. When I attempt humor, I'm an insensitive asshole (probably because I am, but still). SummersEve, that was utterly hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

posted by Desert Dog at 11:05 AM on January 30

If they could get "frozen sperm" why would they spend so much money to keep Barbaro alive? That's as logically flawed as the rest of your argument. As somebody pointed out artifically inseminated mares cannot produce horses that are allowed to race. Rules you know. But of course if someone managed to get some of that sperm into a mare and it produced a foal. That foal could eventually reproduce normally and some of those Barbaro genes could wind up in a racer down the line. Where there is a will there is a way. For the record, I am sure that for every foal that is conceived there are horse racing police that stand around to make sure a mare and a stallion did it. Right. I still think there is some Barbaro sperm somewhere waiting for a home.

posted by Atheist at 11:36 AM on January 30

For the record, I am sure that for every foal that is conceived there are horse racing police that stand around to make sure a mare and a stallion did it. Right. I still think there is some Barbaro sperm somewhere waiting for a home. And what good would that do? There has been a public statement that Barbaro never stood as a stud. What good would it do to produce Foal of Barbaro now? (and why are you so very determined to find and expose venality in this whole story, even to the point of manufacturing it if necessary?)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:17 PM on January 30

I love a rodeo where the rider gets mauled by the bull or horses. May e-coli of bovine origin infest your next salad. Lettuce. It's what's for dinner....

posted by mjkredliner at 01:18 PM on January 30

I'll respect Barbaro's owners trying to keep him alive, but a scholarship in Barbaro's name seems a bit much.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:57 PM on January 30

l_b_b, I'd be willing to bet that if somebody showed up tomorrow with a vial of Barbaro's little swimmers, it'd be bought up in a second, for some fairly impressive coin. You might not like Atheist's take on the story, but you know better than to bring common sense into a situation like this.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:41 PM on January 30

Anybody want to buy mine? C'mon, I'll sell 'em cheap.

posted by SummersEve at 03:13 PM on January 30

l_b_b, I'd be willing to bet that if somebody showed up tomorrow with a vial of Barbaro's little swimmers, it'd be bought up in a second, for some fairly impressive coin. I repeat: what for? You couldn't race the horse.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:55 PM on January 30

I repeat: what for? You couldn't race the horse. You're anticipating rationality in a story that couldn't be farther from the concept. And we're talking about a land that sells grilled cheese sandwiches that might look like the Virgin Mary. Possible uses: Worship. The semen is like a radio to God. For looking at and quietly saying "thank you, thank you - you brave, beautiful semen, you. I love you." For annointing their children with the seed of glory that is the all-mighty Barbaro. For reviving the dead... C'mon, people this was a special horse. Remember the bible, here: "Be unto as the great steed and, lo, thy strength shall become all hugeness and, yay, ye shall enter the kingdom of Heaven really fast and beat thyne runner-up by a minimum of 6 lengths. Thy will be done. Amen"

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 04:06 PM on January 30

Nice to know I can always count on Weedy. l_b_b, it was all about the absurdity. Come on, lighten up a little bit, life is good, the Patriots are in the Sup---oops. Sorry.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:26 PM on January 30

There has been a public statement that Barbaro never stood as a stud. Maybe it's the way my brain processes words. Maybe it's the font I use to read SportsFilter (Papyrus -- very cool, but not very practical). Maybe it's my painfully desperate need to be the center of attention. But sometimes when I see "Barbaro," a quick read makes it look like "Bullpenpro." And some of these comments are striking a little close to home.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:35 PM on January 30

Weedy: yeah, that's about what I expected. Well, now your months of waiting are over: the horse has kicked and you've had your say about the excess of sentimentality lavished on it (never mind whether anyone actually did so, that's beside the point). Back when Barbaro broke his leg, I believe that I asked you why other people's emotional attachments to anything were any skin off your nose, but I never got an answer. Oh well, I make fun of the Super Bowl Shuffle, so have at it, I guess.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:49 PM on January 30

As somebody pointed out artifically inseminated mares cannot produce horses that are allowed to race. Rules you know. Yes, I knew that already, which is yet another reason your argument made little sense. You were the one who brought saving his sperm into the equation. You also left out the rest of fence's post: I doubt it was about future earning potential. The chances of Barabaro ever recovering enough to be able to cover a mare were so slight that it was pretty much an impossibility. And in Thoroughbred Horse racing foals must be conceived naturally in order for them to be registered and allowed race. Which kind of blows away your argument. But you know, kids are dying in the middle east, so whatever.

posted by justgary at 05:08 PM on January 30

Remember the bible, here... "The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; for all its strength it cannot save." Psalm 33:17 Fungooli, you are probably correct about the reasons for trying to keep Barbaro going. Being the life-long professional cynic that I am, it was too easy for me to believe what some were saying early on about stud fees. Perhaps I have not given Barbaro's owners their due. If it was all about the money, then the words above truly apply.

posted by Howard_T at 09:36 PM on January 30

I, for one, welcome our new horse semen overlords.

posted by holden at 10:10 PM on January 30

I believe that I asked you why other people's emotional attachments to anything were any skin off your nose, but I never got an answer. Who said it's any skin off my nose? I mock it because it deserves to be mocked. I think the sympathy extended is ridiculous in manner and thought - and I've explained as much I find the whole thing utterly absurd and laughable - and I like to share. And yes - the Super Bowl Suffle begs to be mocked.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:45 AM on January 31

I bet you sleep with a teddy bear, Weedy.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:48 AM on January 31

Two, actually - and I LOVE them. :-)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:58 AM on January 31

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