Barbaro euthanized Monday morning
KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. -- So many people felt a stake in Barbaro's recovery. They imagined his pain, grimaced each time he faltered, took heart as each day passed and he was still alive, making painfully slow progress.
The 2006 Kentucky Derby winner's fight for survival was their fight, a symbol of strength, courage and comfort -- and, more than anything else, a source of inspiration.
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He was, after all, winner of the world's most famous race, in a sport desperate for a superstar. For months he seemed, remarkably, to take everything that came at him: good and bad.
Finally, it was too much.
Barbaro was euthanized Monday after complications from his gruesome breakdown at last year's Preakness, ending an eight-month ordeal that made him even more of a hero than he was as a champion on the track.
"Certainly, grief is the price we all pay for love," co-owner Gretchen Jackson said.
A series of ailments -- including laminitis in the left rear hoof, an abscess in the right rear hoof, as well as new laminitis in both front feet -- proved too much for the gallant colt. Barbaro was given a heavy dose of a tranquilizer and an overdose of an anesthetic and put down at 10:30 a.m.
I have never like the practice of putting down horses, but I havn't followed this story enough to form an opinion over whether the horse was seriously suffering or if treatment simply wasn't working.