The passing of a champion.

Horse racing holds a proud tradition in many states.  Hopefully, the passing of Barbaro, while tragic, does not give rise to unwarranted calls for the banning of the sport which he made proud. 

Barbaro is dead. The four-year-old colt who suffered a catastrophic leg injury in the Preakness Stakes last May, was euthanised early today (New Zealand time).

The Kentucky Derby winner was given his regular morning feed of grass while resting in his support sling. With his supporters and caregivers around him, he was then given the overdose of tranquiliser that ended his life.

Barbaro had bounced back from a number of serious complications during his recovery, with at one stage chief surgeon Dean Richardson describing his outlook as poor, with the development of serious laminitis in his uninjured hind leg.

However, Barbaro rebounded and appeared on the path to a recovery, and on to what Richardson suggested would be a comfortable life.

The story of Barbaro grabbed international headlines and countless of thousands of people followed his progress intently, not only on this site, but on many others that provided regular updates.

Google News is now awash with stories of his death, many of them paying tribute to the champion. Just hours after his death, Google was carrying more than 4000 stories about the decision to end his life.

Horse discussion forums around the internet were awash with personal tributes to the champion. Many admitted to being in tears after reading of his death.

Barbaro’s co-owner Roy Jackson said: “We just reached a point where it was going to be difficult for him to go on without pain.

“It was the right decision, it was the right thing to do. We said all along if there was a situation where it would become more difficult for him then it would be time.”



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