Michael McGuire

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Hind sight is 20/20.

It seems both these sayings apply to the current situation surrounding Kentucky Dirby-winning-colt Barbaro.

Let me be the first to say that my heart was relieved when they didn’t euthanize the horse after breaking his right hind leg at the Preakness. My cynical side, however, said that putting him down was what horse raising fans needed in order to understand the give and take their beloved and outdated sport entails.

If you want them bred for speed, you accept them being bred to break. You drive them hard for a few years, you send them to the grave a bit earlier – sometimes sorrowfully.

The base animal lover in everyone wanted to keep that horse alive that day, but “he broke his leg and we had to shoot him” is not said 1 million times a day because some left fielder in the English language decided it sounded good.
According to reports, Barbaro has develpoed Laminitis in his good hind leg. Laminitis occurs when tissue inside the hoof becomes inflamed and causes the hoof to deteriorate and fall off. Horses usually do not survive the infection, and are often euthanized. Barbaro is not suffering. His cast has been changed numerous times in the past few days, his extensive amount of screws and his plate have been replaced, and his health is continuing to turn for the worst.

Not ending the pain at the Preakness was what we needed to feel better, but our feelings don’t cure broken legs, and we have forgotten how to deal with broken hearts.

I saw a website where people can send notes to Barbaro to get well soon. I think someone needs to send us a get well note.