Remember Barbaro, the thoroughbred race horse gravely injured in the Preakness Stakes in May of last year, and finally euthanized in January after his injuries could not be healed, and his pain could not be relieved?
Barbaro’s fate was an extreme case of what can happen to horses bred for speed. Most survive their racing careers, but may be left with lingering injuries and a painful old age.
There’s a place in Central New York trying to help these animals. It’s SUNY Morrisville, and a foundation grant to expand the horse rehabilitation program there is being recognized as far away as New Zealand:
With more than 3,000 horses leaving thoroughbred racing each year, and more than 80,000 horses coming from the top levels of competition in 52 other equestrian sports, Morrisville State College, as a response to industry need, seeks to expand the capacity of its 302-student, 400-horse operation to further the study of rehabilitation and physiology.
Those of us outside the world of horse breeding and racing don’t fully understand it, but we love animals and want the best for them. Veterinarians at Morrisville, you may remember, were consulted during Barbaro’s crisis. So their knowledge and skills are world-class, and it’s good to know that animals- and students dedicated to their care- will benefit from a Gifford Foundation grant of $150,000 to the college’s Equine Rehabilitation Center.