Readers Respond: Challenging Feet

More than 1,000 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Do you think Big Brown's hoof issues might be a factor in his bid for the Triple Crown?"

results of poll on racehorse Big Brown's feet

Results were as follows: 
  • No: 75.35% (761)
  • Yes: 24.65% (249)

Read about his feet in: Big Brown's Feet Not So Bad, Farriers Say.  

Results of weekly polls from TheHorse.com are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

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  • hmmmm, lets see. Horse on Winstrol Steroid, built up fake heels and hooves.Why not implant muscles?
  • love of money is root of all evil
  • Greedy people kill horses
  • People always get such a scare with the slightest injury...
  • He's a mediocre horse winning against a very weak crop of 3 year olds.
  • They'll run him. Poor horse.
  • horses weren't meant to wear shoes! glued or nailed.
  • His farriers seem to know what they are doing
  • been there with foot problems and hoof/wall separation; it's in the management
  • We use extreme measures to try to remedy over-use damage caused by people! When will we wake up?
  • Another thoroughbred raced with crappy hooves - what a surprise...
  • I think the farrier has the answer at this time
  • No hoof, no horse.
  • not a factor for racing BUT a factor for breeding!
  • Because excellent farriership and the horses desire to win are just a super combination !!!
  • his chances are better if he is shod natural balance
  • not with the professional hoof care he is receiving.
  • It's just to much pressure on a horse's body to race at such a young age!
  • Change the racing age!
  • Anytime there are any weaknesses in the hoof it could potentially pose a problem.
  • Either racing self-governs or animal rights groups will.
  • Good farriers on hand will be sure he is sound and ready.
  • IF a bare foot horse under is own power (and obvious health) cannot compete without shoes ?????
  • All you guys need to stop hating on Big Brown. Your just jealous that he won.
  • Not if he has sound feet and good shoeing!
  • After Eight Belles I am done with horse racing. It should be banned.
  • Hoof issues ALWAYS affect how a horse moves, but alternatives can help.
  • not at all it is just the same racing shoes just added padding that is the only differnce
  • EVERY athlete has flaws and when there heart is in the game (like big brown's) they learn toovercome
  • I think his shoes are doing their job.
  • The only issue for me is the cruelty of the racing industry, He should be home in a paddock!
  • his problems seem to be older
  • Farriers--great ones--can do wonders!
  • any horses hooves could have an effect on the triple crown
  • After the derby's loss of 8 belles I refuse to watch it anymore!
  • yes i do because i love horses and iv read all the horse things and i really do think it would help
  • win loose or die, the owner gets rich and the horse is abused.
  • I think that level of stress on any horse makes it an issue
  • Hopefully they will pull his shoes when he is done racing and let his hoof's heal. No hoof No horse!
  • He's awesome he'll be lucky to have other competition
  • Horrible feet! Horrible shoes and repairs. I'm a dedicated barefooter
  • I hope he does it, horse racing desparately needs a hero!
  • his foot issues should also give one pause when choosing to breed to him (or not.)
  • He has the best of care
  • Breeding for speed vs. quality; you lose something in the process -- I don't agree with it.
  • They race them too young & train to young
  • Not with those shoes! They are awesome and should be standard for ALL horses!
  • We could see another fatality on the track. Horse racing needs to be abolished.
  • I think that bad hooves shouldn't be bred.
  • He has great farriers, seams like they fixed the problem already.
  • The special shoes seem to be working to prevent the quarter cracks.
  • I believe that his owners will be sure to keep him as sound as possible
  • have won money on him expect more
  • They obviously are not bothering him now and I am sure his Farriers are among the best they can get.
  • No,the trainer will give extra TLC between no and the Belmont,go Big Brown,deliver the big one 4 us.
  • His feet seem A o.K. as he has a very good farriers on this
  • I think people are making a huge ordeal out of nothing.
  • It would appear that his hoof issues have been dealt with successfully.
  • at least I hope not! I want to see him WIN!
  • The fact of steriod use will negate the bad feet. I can't believe this is an accepted practice!!
  • Sounds like his farriers know what they're doing.
  • I'll be rooting for Big Brown!
  • looks like under control for 3 more wks
  • Is it really responsible to make him a major stud with such a defect?
  • it really depends on how his feet hold up between now and then, if no obvious damage than no problem
  • Just read your article and so it sounds like feet are under control.
  • As long as they keep the same type of shoes on him, he should have no problem.
  • as long as the hoof filler stays in place. In the pictures it seems that he has a putty filler.
  • clearly his farriers have this under control. Horses feet issues are usually correctable
  • Not with the special shoes he's getting! He is awesome!
  • I truly believe in corrective shoeing. I have a TB that has made a remarkable change due to this met
  • His farriers obviously have it under control.
  • It sounds to me that they have taken care of the problem so it is no longer an issue.
  • I think if his problems are that severe, why race him? Another accident & death?
  • It is an additional 'something' to worry about.
  • If he had them in the other too races it is going to be the same for him.
  • Maybe, maybe not. We have to wait and see. Bless his heart. I guess we need another Barbaro...
  • new cushioned shoes made fopr this horse
  • Sometimes glued shoes come off and take the hoof too.
  • as a farrier I think his shoes will not have any factors as long as the superfast and adhear hold
  • It would appear that his farrier has solved the problem using the glue on shoes.
  • he should be fine
  • Quarter cracks are common on race horsees and these 2 farriers seem to ahve everything under control
  • Ian McKinlay is doing a good job on his feet and there should be any problem.
  • there are far worse hoof issues besides this
  • Good feet, bad feet - this horse has tremendous speed
  • no, not after reading what they are doing for him with Yasha pads.
  • It sounds like these glue on shoes are effective
  • He no longer has "issues"!
  • They would not take that chance to lose him now.He is as exciting as watching Secretariat
  • After winning the Preakness today, I'd say no.
  • They've been working on them for a while. He has fabulous farriers to keep his feet in great shape.
  • Why take the chance after the recent fatalities.
  • GO BIG BROWN!!!! TRIPLE CROWN HERE HE COMES!!!!
  • It appears that a thorough analysis has been done of the issues and a successful solution determined
  • You can't hurry healing! Hoprfully the worst is over...
  • If he indeed had problems only with abscesses and they're healed his feet should hold up .
  • Pounding of hooves & delicate legs... NO racing until3 yrs old
  • He has a heck of a farrier! Without him B.B whouldn'd have a chance.
  • Unless they are being less than truthful
  • Screw the risk of a catastrophic death like the others, lets race him anyway! People are disgusting
  • Horses w/foot "problems" compete successful in many disciplines w/competent farrier.
  • His feet are well managed
  • Horse racing is evil and should be illegal
  • won't be a factor - he is an awesome athlete
  • Racing a physcially developing youngster leads to foot and other breakdown.
  • He's made it 2/3s of the way, hopefully he can finish that and be on his way to stud. He's so cute!
  • Proper shoeing, which he has will help
  • They have it under control
  • He is being used to make money, he will break down, no hoof no horse. He will die. It is that simple
  • Saw the Yasha shoes...ok..could have better breakover/knee and pastern stress.
  • Great farriers working on him
  • He's done well so far.
  • I knew he was great when I saw h im in the Florida derby. I knew he would win the Triple Crown
  • Compliments to the farriers
  • No hoof, no horse, he'll be find so long as they maintain them...
  • His feet WERE a problem; the glue-on shoes are resolving it. GO GET 'EM, BB!!
  • Seems like the glue on shoes are working, TB's are notorious for bad feet.
  • Sounds like they are on top of it.
  • Long as he wins, what does it matter if his hooves shatter once he's across the finish line?
  • Not with diligent care
  • To save his feet, he may not be properly conditioned to face the 1 1/2 mile race.
  • I think it's abusive to be running these young horses, and they should be barefoot.
  • That last quarter mile in the Belmont is what makes or breaks a Triple Crown winner.
  • "hopefully, great feet"
  • High tech farriery can keep him sound but will he pass on his feet to his offspring?very likely...
  • Sure doesn't look like it's a problem
  • A positive factor. He's lucky to be wearing the plastic shoes instead of the aluminum.
  • Race horses are so competitive they will run without hooves.
  • His farrier is on top of it, he is a strong contender for a historical conclusion!
  • Sounds like his farrier's are keeping him sound
  • glue's just as good nails : )
  • The current method of repair probably makes his feet STRONGER than a normal trim and shoe.
  • It sounds like they have his feet problems under control
  • We like our Equiflex synthetic shoes on our endurance horses .
  • Could be. Everything and then some can be an issue in racing....
  • It is a shame that he will sire many with poor feet like himself.
  • Big Brown is awesome! He will be the next Triple Crown Winner!
  • Could they be from someone nailing in the white line???
  • Wake up! METAL SHOES increase concussion. Go BAREFOOT
  • he won so handily in the Preakness without even being asked -they wont stop a Triple Crown.
  • He should NOT be pushed...we do not need Another Eight Belles incident in racing!!!!!
  • It won't be his feet that make him lose. It'll be the FASTER COMPETITION.
  • Sounds like the ferrier/trainer have the right treatment plan in place. Should not be a problem.

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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