1980sABCAnimalsHorse RacingJim McKaySpecials

Horse Racing – 1984 – ABCs Jim McKay Special Feature – The Fragility Of The Thoroughbred Horse

An excerpt from an article written in the Washington Post by Andrew Beyer in 2012 best explains why a trainer’s observations of the thoroughbred race horse is so important due to the fragility of these athletes….for “because of the animals’ fragility, thoroughbred trainers everywhere do what Doug O’Neill, the trainer of I’ll Have Another, was doing at Belmont Park all week. They watch intently. They watch how a horse moves when he walks and gallops….they observe his demeanor and his eating habits….they examine his legs looking for any abnormality. Whether a trainer is managing a potential Triple Crown winner or a $10,000 claimer who might help pay the month’s bills….he knows that the most important part of his job is to detect potential problems before they turn into big….or even catastrophic issues.  Only the most irresponsible trainers would thrust an injured horse into battle.  O’Neill said at a news conference Friday that he had detected a slight change in I’ll Have Another’s demeanor this week — “He’s been a little quiet” — but that his legs had looked perfect until Thursday morning. He perceived a “loss of definition in the left front leg” but thought that the colt looked normal on Friday and sent him to the track for his morning exercise. But after the gallop, O’Neill said, “You could tell that the swelling was back.” He summoned the vet, and soon he learned that his hopes of training the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 were gone.” …so, obviously, as Jim McKay so eloquently explains in this video herewith…. thoroughbred race horses are powerful but fragile athletes.

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