Monday, May 22, 2006

Barbaro

I'm somehow mesmerized by the story of Barbaro - the Kentucky Derby winner that twisted and fractured his ankle yesterday in the Preakness. News reports are that a lesser horse would have been euthanized on the spot - horses usually don't survive these types of injuries because the long resting period required for healing causes other health problems that are usually fatal - but because of his extraordinary value as a stallion, every attempt is being made to save him

The terminology is great. First of all - at the start of the race he jumped out before the starting gun. However, apparently he didn't hurt himself in that false start, and was "reloaded". After the first 100 yards of the race his leg suddenly moved out at a strange angle, and his jockey stopped him, apparently averting further injury, although the vets also say that the injury was "about as bad as it could be". New reports list other horses that were "broke down" in races - broke their legs and were "taken out" - euthanized. But the hope is that he can be saved because horses like him are worth at least $100,000 a "load" - a load of sperm that is...

Of course, what I'm wondering is this: While he's convalescing, is he still providing "loads" at $100,000 a pop? How many can he provide per day? It would be a good way to pay for his medical treatment if indeed the outcome is fatal - which of course I hope it's not.

3 Comments:

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Arlo Muttrie said...

No, he's not making any donations. One of the peculiar artificialities of the Thoroughbred world is that it has to be live service (yup, the dam and sire actually gotta pork away)--they don't ship semen around the way they do with some other breeds. The other big artificiality is Thoroughbred racing itself. No new blood is ever put into the gene pool. If someone were allowed to put expand the circle of available horses and actually turned out winners, a lot of people who paid a lot of dough for their horses' genes would find themselves suddenly and irreparably impoverished. We certainly can't have that,can we?
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