> >Here's the link to the CNN story:
> >The horse, Bermuda's Gold, broke the cannon bone (the long bone between >
> knee and ankle) during the cross-country and was later destroyed at a
> > veterinary clinic.
> Okay, I'll ask the obvious dumb question: Why did they have to euthanize
> him? Sure, I understand that he couldn't compete any more, but couldn't
> the leg have healed and he would have been a perfectly good mount for
> some horse-crazy 12-year-old girl who'd only ride him on weekends?
Some equine fractures can be treated, but the cannon bone carries a great
deal of the weight, and it's even worse if it's a front leg -- horses are
all very front-heavy. The CNN piece made it sound like it was a very severe
break. Unlike a person, you can't put a horse on bed-rest in traction for
weeks or months until it can heal. Even putting them in a sling is very
difficult for a few days, let alone a few weeks or months, and causes so
many other problems (like breathing, for starters) in such a large animal
that it's just not worth it to try to put the horse through all that.
> Also, the referenced article said:
> The endurance phase here is 14.9 miles, with the cross-country
> phase and its 29 obstacles in the final 4.6 miles ridden
> at a hard gallop.
> Does that mean that the 13 minutes of timed competition we saw in
> the cross-country event was only the last 4.6 miles of an event
> that actually lasted 14.9 miles?
Yep. The first part is for endurance and is called "roads and tracks."
I saw the start of David O'Conner's
> ride on TV, and he was just milling around before the start of the
> obstacle course. It didn't look as though he'd just arrived from
> a 10-mile gallop.
These horses are incredibly fit, and they do get a short break before the
cross-country jumping phase begins.
> Oh, one last question: why were the fronts of the horse's legs
> covered with something white during the x-c event? (I was going
> to say "painted with something white," but didn't want to imply
> that it was actually paint! It was something that came off
> during the course of the run, though, probably when they went
> through the water jumps.)
Crisco -- to help them slither over those godawful obstacles.
If they don't just break their legs.
Real life doesn't have to make sense. Fiction does.