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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

5M$ Jimmy, the thoroughbred put down without ever competing ... !!!!

Every traveller in Beach Tambaram EMU would be intrigued by those green topped books on sale near Guindy Railway station – it is those statistics, the sire-dam details that guide the punter at Madras Race Club which traces its origin to 1837 and more decades beyond.  To some Horse racing is an equestrian sport; to many it is gambling.  Racehorses enjoy their life under Sun……… they look so beautiful and so nicely cared for.  They are special, not the casual breeds… actually, ‘Thoroughbred’ is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses, known for their agility, speed and spirit.

The life of a racehorse is royal, well-cared for – that is what we presume, going by the way it is treated – the type of food given, Doctors attending to it, the way they are housed, transported and more…  but sadly, all the hype undermines the fact that they can suffer a fatal injury at any moment.  From the glorious moments of stardom,  one false step, one misplaced hoof may be all it takes for a bone to break in such a way that the horse cannot be saved. Racehorses are incredibly tough animals, brave, hardy and durable.  After all, accidents do happen, people do break bones – some live with metals keeping the bones together …… read that the racehorses are strong but their bones are lighter – and at times, when they break, they just shatter.

Horse experts say that when that happens, it is not possible to repair the bone,not just because it is now in lots of little pieces that won't heal together, but because they deform badly.  The horse's hoof is attached to its leg by a fibrous tissue called laminae – which are strong enough to support the horse's weight – but …….  Laminitis is a disease that affects the feet of hooved animals (ungulates) – more so in case of horses and cattle. Clinical signs include foot tenderness progressing to inability to walk, inflammation, and increased temperature in the hooves. Laminitis is characterized by pain of the digital laminae of the hoof, and severe cases with outwardly visible clinical signs are known by the colloquial term founder.

Few months back, Australia's most expensive and controversial young thoroughbred, known affectionately as ''Jimmy'',  lost his battle with the crippling foot injury laminitis. It was ‘put to death’ as all parties involved, including the insurance underwriters, agreed that the $5 million younger half-brother to world champion sprinter Black Caviar would be euthanised on humane grounds. A spokesman for the University of Melbourne Equine Centre at Werribee, where the yearling had spent the last two months and had some of the finest veterinary surgeons in the world attempt to fight the foot disease, described the disease as ''depressingly difficult to overcome''.

The colt was for long the talking point of Australia ever since he was purchased for $5 million by Bill Vlahos.  However, the architect of the ''punting club'' failed to pay for the youngster. So, the horse was repossessed as Vlahos failed to honour a number of deadlines to pay the money for the regally-bred colt. Reports suggested that a syndicated outfit purchased it -  Jimmy's breeder, Rick Jamieson, who sold the colt, retained a 10 per cent share in the horse.  It reportedly became a legal minefield for those investors, both large and small, who paid their money to Vlahos over the  months but whose money was never passed on to the auction house that sold him.

The breeding farm reportedly suffered huge debt due to non-settlement and they further faced a bill of $40,000 for veterinary costs – and the news came that the underwriters would pay $5 million policy out.  Devastated owners of Black Caviar's half-brother Jimmy  were apprehensive of  losing their money as well as the horse after the $5 million colt was put down.  Quite unfortunately, the most expensive colt sold at auction in Australia was never able to race after life-threatening complications of laminitis, a hoof complaint developed after treatment for a mysterious spider bite. Many individually and in syndicated groups had paid amounts in the hope of jointly owning Jimmy which would win them honours ended up discovering that the colt was not paid for, not registered and their names were not on any papers ~ and more sadly, Jimmy had been bit by a spider leading to its illness and eventual going down.  Melbourne University Veterinary  Hospital in consultation with Insurers  covering the colt, decided to euthanise him after believing there was no more to be done to prevent intolerable pain.

Mr Vlahos  went into hiding since he was allegedly bashed and his utility vehicle torched amidst allegations from some quarters that Vlahos's injuries were self-inflicted and that fuel used to ignite the car came from the property.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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