BARBARO. Thoroughbred Racehorse. April 29, 2003 to January 29, 2007.
Barbaro died from injuries sustained in the 2006 Preakness at Pimlico Racecourse, Baltimore, MD following a drawn out gutwrenching set of medical procedures calculated to save his life.
• May 6: Wins Kentucky Derby by 6½ lengths. It is Barbaro’s sixth win in six career starts.
• May 20: Fractures right hind leg in three places during early part of Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Later that night, Barbaro is taken to New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, Pa., where a frantic battle ensues to save his life.
• May 21: Barbaro has surgery to insert a titanium plate and 27 screws to repair the fracture. Dr. Dean Richardson, New Bolton’s chief of surgery, leads the operation team and calls Barbaro’s survival chances a “coin toss.”
• May 27: Fitted with special three-part, glue-on horseshoe for left hind hoof, helping reduce risk of laminitis.
• June 13: Placed under general anesthesia to have cast changed for first time; Richardson says “his leg looks excellent.”
• July 8: Develops “potentially serious” complications to injured leg; undergoes surgery to treat new infection in leg; Cast replaced, this time with a longer one that provides additional support; doctors replace plate and many of the screws. “I think we’re going to have some tough days ahead. I’m being realistic about it,” Richardson said.
• July 13: Richardson discloses colt has laminitis, a painful and often fatal disease; vets remove 80 percent of left hind hoof to treat the condition; chances of survival termed “poor” by Richardson.
• Aug. 8: Barbaro gets a new cast. “His left hind hoof continues to show signs of regrowth and looks healthy,” Richardson said. A day later, after nearly three months in his ICU stall, Barbaro begins 15 to 20-minutes outings to grassy areas adjacent to the unit to hand graze, enjoy fresh air and sunshine.
• Sept. 26: Barbaro’s left hind hoof is reportedly regrowing. “It has to grow at least three times that, which could take more than six months,” Richardson said.
• Nov. 6: Cast on Barbaro’s right hind leg is removed.
• Dec. 13: Doctors consider releasing Barbaro from New Bolton. “In my mind’s eye, he can leave in the not so distant future,” Richardson said.
• Jan. 2: Barbaro’s right hind leg keeps getting stronger and Richardson believes the colt should eventually be healthy enough to live a comfortable, happy life.
• Jan. 9: After experiencing discomfort in his left hind foot, separation is found in the hoof. A cast which had been applied to the leg is removed.
• Jan. 18: Barbaro is reportedly improving.
• Jan. 24: Barbaro’s left-foot cast was replaced and he received a custom-made plastic and steel brace on his right hind leg. Richardson said doctors were pleased with the progress.
• Jan. 26: The cast on the right leg is removed. “He’s got a lot of issues, and not any of them is bad enough to say goodbye. But put together it’s not a good day for Barbaro,” owner Roy Jackson said.
• Jan. 27: Surgery performed to insert two steel pins in a bone to eliminate all weight bearing on the ailing right foot. The procedure is risky because it transfers more weight to the leg. If the bone were to break again, Richardson said: “I think we’ll quit.”
• Jan. 29: Barbaro euthanized.
Timeline Sources: “Barbaro euthanized Monday morning”, ESPN via the Associated Press, by Jan. 30, 2007, http://goo.gl/DQ9FPF; Other information via ESPN and the Associated Press. Image sources as captioned. Thank you.