January 28, 2007
No one in the racing business is happy when a prize winning horse is put to sleep, but it's actually how the horse is bred that makes all the difference.
Kelly Shott knows horses; she is the owner and manager of KBS Boarding and Instructing stables in Free Union, VA.
Shott says, “Horsemen have a saying which is no hoof, no horse. Which basically what that means is that if the feet aren't in good shape for lack of a better term they are worthless. They can't walk, they can't run, we cant use them for any of the things that we use them for.”
“The type of horse that Barbaro is a thoroughbred and that is the type that is more traditionally flat raced in the United States.“
Shott's farm is home to many types of thoroughbreds and even with big races like Foxfields right here in our area, she says most of the horses bred here are used by hunting clubs.
“Thoroughbreds that are bred to fox hunt are traditionally more densely boned than the horses that are bred for the race track. They prefer a horse that has finer, longer bones and therefore they are more likely to sustain injury under stress,” said Shott.
She also says those types of injuries are not uncommon with racing horses.
“Horses being the type of animal that they are, they are grazing animals, and they are prey animals, so they are built to move all the time. Their respiratory systems, their gastro-intestinal systems, and their circulatory systems all depends on them moving. So it’s very hard to mobilize a horse that has sustained an injury like that and still keep them healthy. They usually have other secondary complications,” said Shott.