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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Horatio Nelson Euthanized

- The injuries to Horatio Nelson turned out to be fatal.

There was damage to the ligaments and nerves around the horse's joints and with open wounds, which could already have been infected, there was a unanimous decision taken by the five vets present that it was a hopeless case and it was in the horse's best interests to put him down. [Sporting Life]
Regarding the pre-race examination of the horse, all I’m reading thus far is an official statement to the effect that "The veterinary surgeon and the trainer agreed that they were satisfied that Horatio Nelson was fit to compete." I imagine we’ll be hearing more about that.

I think it’s fair to say, however, that here in the post-Barbaro era, Horatio Nelson would not have started if he was racing in this country. No connection between anything that happened before the start of the Preakness and the injury to Barbaro has been established. Yet enough attention was paid to the debate so that I believe that we’ll be seeing a more cautious attitude, at least for the foreseeable future.

The official statement from the UK’s Horseracing Regulatory Authority added that: "The trainer and the vet at the start, Jenny Hall, discussed the way the horse was moving.” I think that any horse that even just gets to that stage here will not compete in the race, especially in a big stakes.