Horse racing is a dangerous sport. Barely a week goes by without news of a serious injury to either a horse or a rider. So, in the midst of racing's ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of non-racing folk (and, in truth, plenty of racing folk, too), news reaches geegeez of some good news.
One of our system reviewers, Iain, has a day job as a Laboratory Manager (we like things clinical here!) at College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences University of Glasgow. During the course of his main work, he sees lots of ailments and anomalies related to all sorts of animals. And a recent case was a heart-warming one.
It centred around a mare called Toarmandowithlove, now a six year old, who arrived at the University of Glasgow vet school with a horror leg fracture at the "very edge of what can be repaired". Normally in such cases, the only course of action is for the horse to be humanely passed.
However, the team at Weipers Centre Equine Hospital performed their surgical procedures, and were hopeful that Toarmandowithlove might recover to take a broodmare duties and live happily out in a field.
The problem with horse fractures is that, unlike humans who are smart enough to understand that the pain of standing on a broken leg means you shouldn't do it, horses do tend to try to stand on the fracture straight away! With them weighing around 500 kilograms, that's generally not a smart move.
Staff at Weipers did an incredible job and Toarmandowithlove was saved. In fact, not only was she saved, but this unraced mare, mother to a two year old by Bahri, actually made it to the race track at the end of March to race... and finished second!
Though it is normally very bad news when a horse fractures a leg, this short tale of battling the odds is satisfying on many levels, and Toarmandowithlove is a horse I'll be following with affection if not cash in the coming months.