Sunday, May 28, 2006

They Shoot Horses, Don't They: Barbaro's Leg

You may have heard the stories about Barbaro, the horse expected to win the Triple Crown, which broke its leg instead. The question immediately became "will the horse need to be put down?" To me, who knows nothing about horse racing, the next question became "why does it need to be put down?" I always thought the whole "horse broke its leg so we shoot it" thing was kind of cruel. After all, humans break legs, and go on to live healthy lives. Turns out that a horse breaking its leg really is life-threatening. Check out the mare facts (get it?) at Slate on why a broken leg is bad news for a horse. For a simpler explanation, try the FAQ at
Categories: sports


Mauricem said...

Man oh man. Thanks for the info. I was listening to ESPN, and the female co-host was complaining that it's wrong to kill a horse just because it has a bad leg. The other anchors tried to explain that horses don't heal the way humans do, but she kept insisting it's 'just wrong'. At the time it seemed to make some sense, but i never really understood it. Now I realize the simple answer is that it would be far crueller to make the animal suffer through months of treatment that may, in the end, leave the animal just as bad or worse off. Just put the poor thing out of it's misery.

Monkey Migraine said...

I agree. Strange that something so strong is so fragile, isn't it?