KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. -- Last year's Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, has been euthanized. The colt Monday lost his eight-month fight to survive the devastating injuries he suffered in the Preakness two weeks after his Derby triumph last May.
One of Barbaro's owners, Roy Jackson, says, "We just reached a point where it was going to be difficult for him to go on without pain." He says the decision to end the horse's life was "the right thing to do."
He and his wife were with their horse Monday morning at the Pennsylvania veterinary hospital where he's been treated, and made the decision in consultation with surgeon Dean Richardson.
After shattering his right hind leg a few strides into the Preakness in Baltimore -- an injury most horses do not survive -- Barbaro underwent a five-hour operation to fuse two joints. He would never again walk with a normal gait. And a serious complication developed, with a condition called laminitis in the hoof on his other back leg. Most of that hoof had to be removed.
Then, over the weekend, there was another significant setback, as surgeons had to insert two steel pins into one of the shattered bones to keep weight off of the right rear foot.
Barbaro's owners spent tens of thousands of dollars hoping Barbaro would be able to recover and live a comfortable life on the farm, and perhaps be able to breed.