Kip Deville Succumbs to Laminitis

After a lengthy battle with laminitis and several bouts of colic, Kip Deville, winner of the 2007 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I), took a major turn for the worse this week and had to be euthanized at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., June 11.

Kip Deville appeared to be on his way to recovery in early March after having battled laminitis and colic for eight months. Foot specialist Vernon Dryden informed IEAH Stables president Michael Iavarone at the time that Kip Deville "has maintained good comfort level and a good attitude. He is in good body condition and is eating well. The right front foot cast was changed yesterday and the solar surface is now 85% cornified. Kip is at a point in his recovery that we feel comfortable sending him to a local layup facility."

But the 7-year-old son of Kipling -- Klondike Kaytie, by Encino regressed quickly this week and there was no other recourse but to put him out of his misery.

"It had been under control, but with laminitis, no one knows what under control is," Iavarone said. "It's such a disastrous situation with laminitis; you think it's going in right direction, but it can change so quickly. This tears the heart out of me; it kills me. He had no earnings potential as a stallion; we kept him alive for so long because he wanted to be alive and he deserved every chance. He fought hard every step of the way.

"It's beyond frustrating, because things had been so quiet, and then I got that e-mail this week. I just wanted him to live a happy life; he deserved that. But when you're told how much suffering he's in and that he has no chance of living a normal paddock life, what else can you do? It's always hard to make a decision like this, but the decision was made for us. All I know is I'm not going to sleep tonight."

Kip Deville's health problems surfaced in mid-October, beginning with what was thought to be a routine bout of colic. But over time, the colic progressed into the often-fatal foot disease laminitis, which also claimed the life of Barbaro.

"He definitely was a fighter," Dr. Dryden said. "He climbed some mountains, but unfortunately he wasn't able to get over that last hump. He grew a new foot on both front feet, but the hoof quality he was growing definitely wasn't substantial enough for him to be a normal horse out in the pasture. And the latest bout with colic certainly didn't help the situation. It was just too much for him to overcome.

"He kept going forward and then plateaued over the last month or two. Just in the last week he started to regress, and at that point I knew we were going backwards. We had taken him out of the foot cast that was allowing his foot to rehabilitate about seven weeks ago, but we had kept him in those for so long the foot doesn't grow in a normal fashion. Once you take them off it's either sink or swim. I would run up and hug and kiss anyone who could figure out how to cure this. It comes up and grabs you. Everything can be looking so good and then it'll knock you for a loop anytime you turn your head."

Kip Deville, who made his last start on Aug. 2 at Saratoga, won 12 of 30 starts and earned $3,325,489. He also won the nine other stakes, including three additional grade I races - the Woodbine Mile at Woodbine, Frank E. Kilroe Handicap at Santa Anita, and Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland. He was second in the 2008 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) at Santa Anita to champion Goldikova.

Bred in Oklahoma by Center Hills Farm, Kip Deville also raced for Pegasus Holdings Group and Resolute Group Stables.

(This story first appeared on

About the Author

Steve Haskin

Steve Haskin is Senior Contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine, sister publication to The Horse.

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