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Richardson: Barbaro's Laminitic Hoof Still a Formidable Challenge

Press Release

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's status is essentially the same. "The shoe on his right hind foot was further modified as his strength improved," said Dean W. Richardson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, chief of surgery.

"We are aware that there is some public concern about his abnormal motion on the right hind limb, however, this is not unexpected," Richardson said. "His gait may be abnormal as he learns to adapt to having fusions of two major joints in his lower limb and to the special shoe. In addition, the fracture had some collapse on the medial (inside) part of the pastern region after he developed laminitis on the left hind foot. Although this is visually unattractive, the mechanics of the lower leg are not seriously affected because the pastern and fetlock joints are fused."

Our goal was to give him a leg that would be functional and comfortable enough to live happily. "The right hind has healed well enough that we are optimistic about that possibility," said Richardson. "However, Barbaro's left hind foot, which had laminitis, remains a more formidable long-term challenge. The foot must grow much more for him to have a truly successful outcome."

Barbaro, who has been in the intensive care unit of the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals since his injuries at the Preakness on May 20, is eating well and has a bright eye and happy demeanor, according to his medical team.

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, January 16, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.

For more information on Barbaro, please see