ExtraExtraordinary, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Susan and Charles Strittmatter of Clorevia Farm in Virginia and trained by Doug Fout, was humanely euthanized on the track following a catastrophic injury in the third race of the Far Hills Race Meet in Far Hills, N.J.
At the last hurdle of the 2 ½-mile Foxbrook Champion Sport of Kings Novice Hurdle Stakes, ExtraExtraordinary (Giant’s Causeway—Scoop, Gone West), hooked the jump with his right front leg, unseating jockey Willie McCarthy, who was unhurt, and, according to one of the four veterinarians on site, Dr. Suzanne J. Smith, VMD, fractured his humerus.
Smith explained, “The humerus was shattered, something we call a comminuted fracture, which means there were many, many pieces [of bone] in there. A fracture this high [on the leg] is not a minor injury. In addition, one of these bone fragments ruptured his brachial artery. By rupturing this artery, he was bleeding out into the tissue below his shoulder and above the elbow area. There were no external wounds, but he was bleeding into this injured internal area.”
Smith and the other three veterinarians—Drs. Cathy Ball, Eli Perris and Michael Fugaro—quickly determined the injury to be fatal and euthanized him.
Smith admitted that even after 31 years of working at these races, these types of injuries are, “always sad. These are fabulous horses, and the trainer of this horse, Doug Fout, is a good solid trainer and an excellent horseman. It is our job to protect them [the horses] from suffering, and we also want to protect the sport. First the horses, then the sport.”