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I was just watching the Kentucky Derby. There you were, a little girl amoungst the big boys...the odds were not in your favor, but I certainly was! I rooted you along the entire race and nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw you taking second-'Go little girl, Go!" I shouted. I did so want you to win, but second was amazing. I felt pride for you and pride for us women everywhere!!! But then suddenly you were gone. The little girl I had just rooted for was no longer with us. You gave us humans your all-everythng you had to give. I am so very sorry. That burst of life we had just sceen in your eyes will shine no more. You will be missed.
 

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I rooted for her too. She came in second .I wonder when the fractures happened?. She gave it her all but she lost her life. What a beautiful filly. Eight Belles you were beautiful........
 

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Oh it's such a tragdy...My heart is shattered for her. Rest in peace Eight Belles and May God be with your Owner's, Trainer, and Jockey.

As a Kentuckian, this is such a sad loss, just so devastating! We take the horses very seriously here and have forever love for them and respect for such a great and beautiful animal.
 

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I'm still just so broken over the passing of Eight Belles, so sad...I believe today we learned that triumph and tragedy do not go well together, I feel so horrible. Reminds me of the horse Barbarro who was euthanized last year after running a race and breaking his back ankle, then getting laminitus(sp) and being put down after 9 months. Bless them.
 

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This is just heartbreaking, I don't really know any other way to put it. I didn't watch the race, but I read about it online and just can't bring myself to watch it the reply posted on yahoo. This is just terribly tragic - I'm glad I wasn't in the stands as I would have been among the several other people that couldn't control their emotions.

I know this might be a stupid question but I'm asking b/c I honestly don't know nor do I know a lot about horses ... why couldn't they save her? I know she broke both ankles but I never knew that would be life threatening.
 

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Originally Posted By: GSDgirlALI know this might be a stupid question but I'm asking b/c I honestly don't know nor do I know a lot about horses ... why couldn't they save her? I know she broke both ankles but I never knew that would be life threatening.
From what my equine vet-friend told me, a horse’s body is so precisely made and the weight so evenly distributed among the four legs, that most probably, any time even one leg is broken, the weight becomes unevenly distributed and the stomach will twist, as in torsion. It is rare that a leg will heal strong enough to bear the weight it was originally intended for.
 

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I've never heard the torsion thing before.


The reason severe leg breaks often lead to euthanasia in horses is that horses are meant to stand. While they will lie down on occasion, they spend 99% of their time on their feet. You can't have a horse lie in a bed, or hang from a sling, for weeks on end to take weight off a broken leg. That makes it difficult for a broken leg to heal. And very often even if things look good in terms of healing the broken leg, the other (non broken) legs develop laminitis while the broken leg heals. This is what happened to Barbaro.

Eight Bells broke BOTH front ankles. There is just no way to fix that in a horse.
 

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Heard an interesting interview on NPR today about horse racing in general and the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown in specific. Found it very interesting in relationship to what I'm always hearing in dog agility and other dog sports in relationship to our pups age and growth.

Or should I say 'growth plates'. The Triple Crown is run with very young horses who clearly have to have also been trained fairly hard to get in shape for the race. And what the interview mentioned was that by the time they reach the age for these races their plates have either just closed or almost closed. As in they are still growing...

So I'm wondering if the best fix for this situation in future horses is to increase the age by a year.
 
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