Barbaro Update: New Cast Will Not Affect Mobility

A new cast has been placed on the left hind leg of classic winner Barbaro as the Kentucky Derby winner continues his recovery from the effects of laminitis in that foot.

Roy Jackson, who raced Barbaro in partnership with his wife, Gretchen, said the new cast will help stabilize the Dynaformer colt’s leg and will not affect Barbaro’s mobility and ability to be exercised daily. The procedure was performed at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center Jan. 3 by Scott Morrison, DVM, head of the equine podiatry service at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington.

Barbaro has been in the intensive care unit of Penn’s George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals since he injured his right rear leg during the May 20 Preakness Stakes.

“It (cast) goes up to the coronet band and doesn’t affect his mobility,” Jackson said. “This is a very routine type of thing that is done with laminitis. It is nothing out of the ordinary. It helps to stabilize things and the foot to grow. He will continue to go out every day.”

Dean Richardson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, chief of surgery at New Bolton, said Jan. 2 that the right hind leg continues to improve and that the greatest concern was with the left hind leg.  “Our goal was to give him a leg that would be functional and comfortable enough to live happily,” Richardson said of the original injury.

“The right hind has healed well enough that we are optimistic about that possibility. However, Barbaro’s left hind foot, which had laminitis, remains a more formidable long-term challenge. The foot must grow much more for him to have a truly successful outcome.”

Jackson said plans are continuing to be made for Barbaro to leave New Bolton soon, but that no final decisions have been made on where he will go to continue his recovery. He said having a new cast put on the left hind leg will not affect Barbaro’s relocation.

About the Author

Ron Mitchell/The Horse

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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