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View Full Version : John Henry - still struggling with dehydration



Glimmerglass
Sep. 14, 2007, 05:56 PM
I believe a thread a month or so ago suggested he was much better, but that doesn't appear to be quite true. Obviously he is getting the best care possible but at his age and with hot summers each July and August is going to be a struggle.

Lexington Herald-Leader 9-14-07 "John Henry treated for dehydration (http://www.kentucky.com/302/story/176270.html)

Excerpt


The 32-year-old gelding began treatment with fluids Wednesday morning and continued receiving intravenous treatments through yesterday afternoon.

"He is having trouble remaining hydrated," said Kathy Hopkins, equine director at the park.

The gelding has also lost a noticeable amount of weight since his birthday party in March.

I know when I saw him during the Rolex 3D he just didn't look like he had in years past.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 14, 2007, 06:56 PM
I'm not sure if the author of this article intended to gather such ominous quotes or if the situation is that dire. On the face of it, his condition does not sound well:

TB Times 9-14-07 "John Henry undergoing dehydration treatments" (http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/racing-news/2007/September/14/John-Henry-undergoing-dehydration-treatments.aspx)

excerpt


“Let’s just say we are fairly concerned,” Roby said. “We don’t really know from day to day what’s going to happen.

“But when you’re basically 110 in people years, you never know what can happen.”

After being on fluids for about 24 hours on Tuesday, John Henry has been confined to his stall during the day so he can undergo additional treatments. At night, John Henry is turned out in his paddock at the Kentucky Horse Park, where the temperamental gelding has lived since 1985.

“We just take it one day at a time because we never know what the day is going to hold,” Roby said. “We just do what he needs that day to make him happy, make him comfortable.

“He’s not in any pain. Our vet doesn’t think he’s in any pain or discomfort right now.”

“With the weight being off of him, it’s very hard to keep his condition the way it should be,” Roby said. “Basically, at 32, you’re just like an old person trying to keep weight on. Once they lose the weight, it’s really hard to get the weight back on.”


“Somebody just called and said, ‘I’m going to make a trip from Cincinnati. Can you make sure he’s there?’” Roby said. “We’ll, no, we can’t guarantee he’s going to be here tomorrow. We just don’t know at this point.”

From The Horse 9-14-07 "John Henry Receiving Supplemental Fluids" (http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=10403)


[from Kathy Hopkins, Dir Equine Operations] "He's a Cushings horse, so sometimes just trying to keep him in balance with his electrolytes and all that, is, of course, more difficult with a Cushings horse, just like an elderly person. So we were doing exactly would you would do for an elderly person if they had a little bit of an electrolyte imbalance--you put them on fluids to straighten them out.

blaziegirl
Sep. 14, 2007, 07:13 PM
There's a "rumor" on another board that he passed away today. I figured I'd find out for sure on this board. So far, glad to see that it's not true. He's a fighter and certainly won't go anywhere without one heck of a battle. Get well soon Johnny.

VirginiaBred
Sep. 14, 2007, 07:38 PM
Oh NO!!!!!! So glad I went to see him a few weeks ago. I hope he snaps out of this, but from what I saw, I'm very worried.

ivy62
Sep. 14, 2007, 07:52 PM
I had read it on another board that John Henry passed away this am....Have not been able to confirm it but the source is reliable...
R.I.P JOHN HENRY

I was able to see him 4 years in a row. Last year he did not look well but I was happy to hear that recently he had been out for a walk about the park.. Run free........

Dreamboat Annie
Sep. 14, 2007, 07:58 PM
I wish him well, he's been around a long time and had a great life....:)

Ridge Runner
Sep. 14, 2007, 08:06 PM
I just saw him in late July when I took my stallion to KHP to ride in the Parade of Breeds. I thought he was looking kind of down then. I sent a message to a friend who works at KHP to see if I can hear the news on him from someone there. If he is indeed gone, the horse world has lost quite a legend with his passing.

miss_critic
Sep. 14, 2007, 08:06 PM
Somebody on another board said they saw him 3 hours ago (8 pm EST) receiving fluids so there is no need to jump to conclusions yet.

zoehesed
Sep. 14, 2007, 08:11 PM
Oh that totally STINKS if he did indeed pass away! So sad... Esp too since I am going to be visiting the park this Sunday with my husband (who Ive been trying to get there FOREVER...he's horsey too)...it will be his first time ever there! And I really wanted him to be able to see John Henry. :(

Glimmerglass
Sep. 14, 2007, 08:27 PM
My goodness the 'old man' isn't dead yet! He's been a fighter before, if its his time then it will come but lets not lament over him just yet.

dressagetraks
Sep. 14, 2007, 08:52 PM
My thoughts, in order, on seeing his recent pics in the great article in the Blood Horse:

1. My gosh, he's lost a lot of weight and doesn't look well.

2. But look at those ears, that eye, that utterly assured expression (you know and I know that I'm so much the best that there's no point in even debating it). That's John! He still looked like his spirit was home, even though he obviously was having physical issues.

grits
Sep. 14, 2007, 11:40 PM
Jingling with all I'm worth for the venerable John Henry! May he go whichever way is best for him, but may he do it with all his disdainfulness and grace. How I adore the old man!

skatepixie
Sep. 15, 2007, 12:43 AM
*jingles* for the old guy...hope he pulls through.

LotsofSlots
Sep. 15, 2007, 03:30 AM
There is nothing on the Bloodhorse about him. I would think there would be.

Lynnwood
Sep. 15, 2007, 10:54 AM
Jingles for the ole' Man. He'd be spitting mad if he saw a bunch of ladies crying over him. :lol:

lizathenag
Sep. 15, 2007, 11:08 AM
While doing a search to find out news, I discovered he has a restaurant! (http://www.johnhenrysrestaurant.com/history.phtml)

canyonoak
Sep. 15, 2007, 11:25 AM
jingles for one of the greatest .

I hope he gets to go with dignity and grace, when he chooses to go over The Bridge.

Sing Mia Song
Sep. 15, 2007, 03:35 PM
jingles for one of the greatest .

I hope he gets to go with dignity and grace, when he chooses to go over The Bridge.

And you know it will be when John chooses, and not a moment sooner or later. :winkgrin: I say it with love, but you all know he's a cantankerous old bastard. :)

Barnfairy
Sep. 15, 2007, 03:53 PM
He'd be spitting mad if he saw a bunch of ladies crying over him. :lol:
Words more true could not be spoken. I was moved to tears when I met him in May, but I was able to stifle them until I made it back to the snack stand, at which point I sobbed and sobbed. 'Much to the puzzlement of fellow snackers.

Hang in there John. Cooler weather is coming.

claire
Sep. 15, 2007, 04:27 PM
Jingling with all I'm worth for the venerable John Henry! May he go whichever way is best for him, but may he do it with all his disdainfulness and grace. How I adore the old man!


grits, You put it perfectly! Disdainfulness, grace and a huge heart to match his stride!

shea'smom
Sep. 15, 2007, 05:18 PM
Barnfairy,
I am so glad to hear that he affected you like that! I saw him when I was a PC Championships in late July and I got all teary and felt like an idiot!
I guess a great horse does that to us.
i have checked all around and have no news.

Cherry
Sep. 15, 2007, 05:47 PM
Well, when I read the description of his problems it didn't sound like a simple problem with the heat.... I see he has Cushing's.... :cry: Poor guy.... I don't think it's a simple "dehydration" problem either.... Well, I'm sure he has a lot of brilliant minds noodling for a "fix" for him... :yes:


you all know he's a cantankerous old bastard. :)
Yes, my husband says at one point he had one of his female grooms pinned to the wall in his stall.... :eek: Evidently she had done something to him earlier that he took exception to and when she went in to feed he made his displeasure known. She had to call for help to get out of his stall... :lol:

Tackpud
Sep. 15, 2007, 06:00 PM
Jingling for the old man, but he is getting up there in age and his body won't be able to fight back as easily. The horse park will certainly do everything possible to help him. He's a wonderful old guy.

texang73
Sep. 15, 2007, 06:09 PM
Words more true could not be spoken. I was moved to tears when I met him in May, but I was able to stifle them until I made it back to the snack stand, at which point I sobbed and sobbed. 'Much to the puzzlement of fellow snackers.


I didn't cry into my french fries, but I cried too the first time I met him (10 years ago). He was in his stall and I just stood there at his door, and cried abit... the groom saw me and said she could bring him out for pictures (which she did). He tried to nip me several times during our "photo shoot". :cool: I think it's great his staff (and let's face, they are HIS staff, not his people... :lol: He's not that sentimental, I don't think...) are so seemingly in tune with how revered and loved he is.

When I saw him last April at Rolex I wasn't as teary eyed, but it was great to see him. Crotchy old coot wouldn't come inside for his meds so they had to bribe him with carrots (LOTS). :D Pics are here:
http://www.horsephotoguy.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=45&pos=0

He is a fighter and I am jingling like mad for him.:yes:

snkstacres
Sep. 16, 2007, 07:35 AM
I went to meet the old man myself and it was not one of his better days either but he made me laugh. I wish all old horses got his kind of care though, they were all great in there day. I'm jingling like crazy for John Henry that wichever way it goes, it goes his way, the right way.

cholmberg
Sep. 16, 2007, 09:19 AM
I saw him in 2002 while I was at Rolex. I got some pics of him. He certainly was a cranky fellow, but that's part of his charm. It'll be sad when he goes, but man. . he's had just about the best life at KHP that a horse could wish. The best care, indulging servants, adoring masses. .. .He's been quite the celebrity. If he's gotta go, I hope he goes painlessly.

ASB Stars
Sep. 17, 2007, 08:04 PM
On the grand old man- especially those of you in the area- word does travel in KY :winkgrin:

miss_critic
Sep. 17, 2007, 08:30 PM
For what it is worth, 2 people on another board have posted that he is doing better. One person saw him and said
"he had a very good weekend, has not needed fluids since Saturday, has eaten "everything in the barn" lately, and was bright and alert as of last night's visit. "

Another person said "John Henry's groom Jose Mercado received a phone call from John Henry's Barn telling him everything was OK and John is progressing in a healthy directions..... and Jose was thrilled that John Henry's connections remembered him with a phone call."

So that is very encouraging.

khp vol
Sep. 18, 2007, 11:06 AM
This is from KHP's official website:
http://www.kyhorsepark.com/news.php?articleID=39&pageid=73&sectionid=9

He seems to be doing much better.

Tackpud
Sep. 18, 2007, 11:23 AM
Great to hear this. Thanks for the updates.

VirginiaBred
Sep. 18, 2007, 11:31 AM
So happy to read the news!

Glimmerglass
Sep. 18, 2007, 11:37 AM
I loved this remark from the posted KHP update (thanks for sharing that!):


He is still receiving guests at his stall during park hours, 9am to 5pm.

They make it sound like he's some matron from the Gilded Age of Newport :D

I'm quite certain after seeing him numerous times he isn't waiting for folks calling cards to be left at the door. The grand old grumpy man would most likely tell you to go to heck and stop clinking his wire door - no matter how much calling, clucking, enticing with treats he's not going to saunter over to the door to see what you have. But just the same I'm sure he secretly loves knowing folks come to see him first and not that upstart across the way - Cigar - or his far less "productive" neighbor - Da Hoss!

Beaver Breeze
Sep. 18, 2007, 04:17 PM
I loved this remark from the posted KHP update (thanks for sharing that!):



They make it sound like he's some matron from the Gilded Age of Newport :D

I'm quite certain after seeing him numerous times he isn't waiting for folks calling cards to be left at the door. The grand old grumpy man would most likely tell you to go to heck and stop clinking his wire door - no matter how much calling, clucking, enticing with treats he's not going to saunter over to the door to see what you have. But just the same I'm sure he secretly loves knowing folks come to see him first and not that upstart across the way - Cigar - or his far less "productive" neighbor - Da Hoss!

Funny that you say that-- I had noticed in the last couple years that Cigar was getting a lot of attention, since many of his fans are "newer" to racing and unfamiliar with John. With the media attention John has received in the last several days, I believe there have been more visitors to John's stall than usual. When I was there yesterday, Cigar came to his door and looked quite befuddled by the fuss being bestowed on John, as if to say, "Hey, what about me? I'm still here!"

John is an old man and his body is failing, but his spirit is most decidedly still there. He's a cranky fellow and proud of it.

Debbie
Sep. 18, 2007, 07:06 PM
I saw the old man yesterday when we were up with my mare at Rood & Riddle. He sauntered over to the door to give us a look, but he definitely was not having a good day -- drooling fairly profusely and looking pretty listless. His staff looked fairly concerned at the time we were there. We were really glad we got to see him.

We hung around for the presentation of champions and watching the videos and then seeing them stalk into the circle brought tears to my eyes. Those horses know they are IT. Da Hoss was probably the least arrogant looking of the lot, but they all had such presence.

amador
Sep. 18, 2007, 08:07 PM
14 chronological videos of races wined by JOHN HENRY

http://www.masdehipodromos.com/Horse.cfm?idCaballo=92284&CFID=20583874&CFTOKEN=33106739&jsessionid=aa30808286215b6366c1

dudders
Sep. 18, 2007, 09:37 PM
A new story posted...

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=10434

Beezer
Sep. 19, 2007, 12:52 AM
The grand old iron horse, still in there fighting. Loved seeing him race out here, where he was pretty much a state hero. He could do absolutely no wrong.

We saw him again several years ago at KHP, and my mom still talks about having her picture taken beside him and how his groom warned her to watch her feet. His groom had his head and mouth under control ;) but apparently John is also quite the foot-stomper. :winkgrin:

I liked this line from thehorse.com update: For now, John is being pampered, is allowed to eat whatever he wants (including doughnut holes, cookies, and chocolate candy), and is enjoying a constant supply of fresh, cold water.

"We're giving him anything he'll eat," Roby said (that's Cathy Roby, manager of the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park). "At this point, it's not going to hurt him."

I have no doubt that John, and only John, will make the decision of when it's time. He may be an old man, but no one but no one pushes him around.

Beaver Breeze
Sep. 19, 2007, 10:10 AM
The drooling is okay, that's just the clover. Today's update:

As of 9:30am on Wednesday, September 19, John Henry is, at the moment, nickering and banging on his stall door for more treats. He ate his breakfast and two oatmeal cookies, and was being very demanding (normal for him) and getting in the way of his grooms as they mucked his stall and got him ready to receive a day full of visitors. He is doing really well today.

ravenclaw
Sep. 19, 2007, 10:59 AM
John Henry is, at the moment, nickering and banging on his stall door for more treats. He ate his breakfast and two oatmeal cookies, and was being very demanding (normal for him) and getting in the way of his grooms as they mucked his stall and got him ready to receive a day full of visitors. He is doing really well today.

:D:D:D:D

You're not alone, John. We ALL have good days and bad days.

VirginiaBred
Sep. 19, 2007, 11:16 AM
Thank Tom! Yay!!! :cool::)

BasqueMom
Sep. 19, 2007, 11:39 AM
Great news!

Laurel&HollyFarm
Sep. 19, 2007, 11:58 AM
I saw him on Saturday. We were there for the National Young Dressage Horse Championships. I had hoped to be able to go on his morning walk with him but he was in his stall on the IV's. I spoke to Barbara Ratterree and she didn't appear to be real worried at the time. Said that he had been on and off the IVs all summer. Hopefully with the weather cooling off he will be in much better shape for the fall.

I am glad the rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated :D.

Davignport
Sep. 19, 2007, 12:57 PM
I saw John Henry back in 2000 when my sister and I went to the Kentucky Derby. It was a dream come true to actually see him in person and be able to take pictures of him. He was always one of my favorites and I have many photos of him at home. He certainly has had a good life at the KHP and has brought lots of happiness to the thousands of people who have been able to see him in person. He is a rare gem and I am jingling that he continues to feel better. JH we all love you....

VirginiaBred
Sep. 20, 2007, 09:36 AM
http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=40856
Really just more of the same.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 20, 2007, 09:49 AM
From today's Lexington Herald-Leader 9-20-07 "As usual, John Henry keeps up the fight" (http://www.kentucky.com/302/story/181437.html)


Late last week, Horse Park officials feared they might be forced to ask a veterinarian to euthanize the gelding. On Friday, they were spray-painting corners of potential grave sites in the grass outside his barn, just in case.

The old warrior proved them wrong. This week he seems more like his former self, although he has lost a lot of weight. He is banging on his stall door, demanding treats. He's off the IV tubes. He's living life as he always has, on his own terms.

What he's told his handlers is that he's just not ready yet for whatever might come.

"We are very pleased that he's feeling so well because what we really care about is how well he's feeling," said Robin Bush, an assistant in the Hall of Champions where John Henry has lived most of the time since 1985.

"We were afraid we might lose him over (last) weekend, so it is a surprise that he's feeling this well," Bush said. "But we're really not shocked because he's John Henry. All his life he's just kept going and going, in his career on the track and in his life."

VirginiaBred
Sep. 20, 2007, 11:06 AM
From the Kentucky Horse Park: Thursday's Update:

As of 8:30 am, John Henry was very vocal in demanding his breakfast. His appetite is very good and his head is in his feedtub right now. He had a short walk outside of his stall yesterday, and his bloodtest from yesterday came back this morning showing that he is still doing well and will not need fluids today. He will have at least one chocolate-covered donut later this morning. He especially enjoyed a visit yesterday from his old friend and exercise rider from his racetrack days, Lewis Cenicola. He is expecting a number of other visitors today.

He receives guests at his stall during park hours, 9am to 5pm.

ravenclaw
Sep. 20, 2007, 11:12 AM
I love this part:


He will have at least one chocolate-covered donut later this morning

I bet he is getting mighty P.O.'d at being stuck with a needle to draw blood. :winkgrin: Thanks to the KHP for all the updates!

Glimmerglass
Sep. 20, 2007, 12:30 PM
I have to admit I smiled at this reply from the brilliant photog (and occassional COTH poster), Barbara Livingston with regards to John Henry when posed a question this afternoon (http://www.bloodhorse.com/talkinhorses/BL092007.asp):


Huntington, WV:
Do you have any tips for getting great pictures of John Henry? I will be going to see him this weekend.

Livingston:
That's a tough one! and John Henry certainly fits under the category of 'difficult to photograph.' He's not easy to impress, by any means, and I'm not sure how cheery he'll be in the face of his recent health issues. And while he's attractive enough, he's no equine Brad Pitt - and he can look downright mule-like.

My best advice is to ask the Horse Park employees if there's anything that might get his ears forward - we haven't had much luck, even with peppermint wrappers or grass or anything. Every so often, however, his ears go forward on their own.

Good luck! I hope you're able to get memorable shots of a most memorable old friend.

Davignport
Sep. 20, 2007, 12:35 PM
So glad to hear that John Henry is doing better. He is one of a kind and I can just picture him demanding his breakfast...

JD
Sep. 21, 2007, 01:57 AM
I got a few shots of John on Labor Day, just before he had his crisis... I'm so relieved he's doing better. Visiting with him was something I will never forget. Pictures here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeandiva/sets/72157601932876630/show/

Also someone has started a page of candles for John's good health, light one if you get a chance:
http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=johnh

JD

Spoilsport
Sep. 21, 2007, 07:05 AM
JD - Those pics are great :D! What did you do? It looks like he's focused on you the whole time.

Guys, old horses do die (obviously), but I am rooting for a little more time for this old man. What a character :winkgrin: :cool:

VirginiaBred
Sep. 21, 2007, 07:07 AM
Great pictures of the Grand Old Man. His legs looks so good and clean for 32! :)

JD
Sep. 21, 2007, 10:47 AM
JD - Those pics are great :D! What did you do? It looks like he's focused on you the whole time.

Guys, old horses do die (obviously), but I am rooting for a little more time for this old man. What a character :winkgrin: :cool:

I got lucky I guess, and it was a good day. I think it was probably that I was something apart from the usual routine as anything else. I stayed a respectful distance, I think he was just kinda curious, he checked everything out, from old rags, to plastic bags to (ahem!) anything providing a strong scent. One article referred to him as being like a bird dog, an apt description! It was a real treat visiting with him.

JD

Glimmerglass
Sep. 21, 2007, 12:27 PM
Maybe I'm the only one, but the shared images of his gaunt, rail thin body from Labor Day weekend are quite sad.

When I saw him again during Rolex of this year and he was wearing a sheet and that natural winter coat so I couldn't see the frame so pronounced. Yes the mind is still there and he isn't without his feisty nature to some degree. Posted before (on another JH thread but worth repeating) are these fine reflections not so many years ago when his muscles were in top form and his developed flesh at the starting line was to be feared from Coast to Coast.

Video: 1984 Hollywood Invitational (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpvLrNwfOiM&mode=related&search=)

Video: 1980 San Gabriel Handicap (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf8Wsv99JbI&mode=related&search=)

Video: 1980 San Marcos Handicap (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3XEGwJkvyY&mode=related&search=)

Video: 1984 Turf Classic at Belmont Park (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FiG8Pp2W-0&mode=related&search=) (called by the great voice of Marshall Cassidy)

Video: 1982 Oak Tree Invitational (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrbxsVGVKz4&mode=related&search=)

Video: 1981 Jockey Club Gold Cup (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSISQou2aBA&mode=related&search=)

Video: John Henry's last race - at the Meadowlands under the lights; Ballentine Scotch Classic 1984 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fMlGXU67Ok&mode=related&search=)

The above – at Meadowlands in 1984 - equaled the track record. I do enjoy Dave Johnson yelling out "... and down the stretch they come, the old man, John Henry takes command ..!"

Glimmerglass
Sep. 21, 2007, 12:45 PM
Interesting: Video: The Horse (magazine) John Henry visit [2 min 28 sec length] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FscRf9dBog&NR=1)

The video was uploaded August 17, 2007 although unclear when it was shot. You do see John walking by the iconic Rolex finish line window.

Kim
Sep. 21, 2007, 01:18 PM
I think he looks quite handsome for an elderly gentleman! Aging happens to us all, and while it is not pretty, it is a fact of life.

My own TB is 30 and I still think she is gorgeous. :)

I'm EBO
Sep. 21, 2007, 01:34 PM
Don't forget that the Cushing's is responsible for much (if not most) of his gaunt appearance, loss of topline, and inability to deal with heat. The medication of choice (pergolide) depresses the appetite, too, imo.

IF you can keep a Cushing's horse with a decent covering over the ribs, you can consider it an accomplishment. OTOH, many Cushing's horses have a pretty fair quality of life and usually die, at a ripe old age, of something unrelated. (The exception is if laminitis sets in--brought about by insulin resistance or carb overload. This is a dangerous time of year for insulin sensitive horses because of the natural rise in cortisol, which plays a part in metabolism and can send them over the edge.)

x-rab
Sep. 21, 2007, 01:37 PM
My husband took a great picture of John Henry cribbing on his window when we visited the Park back in 2001, I think. I am still in awe at the lenth of his racing stride. He had a longer racing stride than Secretariat, but not quite as long as Man O'War.

dressagetraks
Sep. 21, 2007, 02:11 PM
I have pics of him from 1987 at the Horse Park. I was given tickets to the Kentucky Derby as a graduation present and went a day early to see the KHP. I was just looking at them the other night. Wonderful pics, and he was in absolutely full health them. I'd rather remember him that way.

rcloisonne
Sep. 22, 2007, 08:31 AM
Don't forget that the Cushing's is responsible for much (if not most) of his gaunt appearance, loss of topline, and inability to deal with heat. The medication of choice (pergolide) depresses the appetite, too, imo.

IF you can keep a Cushing's horse with a decent covering over the ribs, you can consider it an accomplishment. OTOH, many Cushing's horses have a pretty fair quality of life and usually die, at a ripe old age, of something unrelated. (The exception is if laminitis sets in--brought about by insulin resistance or carb overload. This is a dangerous time of year for insulin sensitive horses because of the natural rise in cortisol, which plays a part in metabolism and can send them over the edge.)
Yes, that's right EBO. And they're not doing the poor horse any favors by feeding him junk like chocolate covered doughnuts. Would anyone in their right mind consider offering crap like that to a a sick. diabetic child? Good grief. I won't be at all surprised to hear he eventually founders "due to Cushings" and had to be euthanized. :rolleyes:

VirginiaBred
Sep. 22, 2007, 10:34 AM
This was Friday's Report:


As of 9:15 am, John Henry was bright eyed and alert. He ate all of his food last night and has been drinking plenty of water. He also just had a chocolate doughnut which he was demanding this morning. The vet has been with him doing his regular morning check and drew the latest sample of blood, but John has been off fluids for almost a week now, so we hope his latest test shows that he will not need to go back on fluids today either. John continues to receive visitors, including two couples from Florida who made the trip just to see him, and a man from Maryland who drove all night to see him yesterday.

Acertainsmile
Sep. 22, 2007, 10:52 AM
Glad to hear he is feeling better!!!! Thanks for the update!

Glimmerglass
Sep. 23, 2007, 05:51 PM
Very nice article worth pulling up ...

Lexington Herald Leader 9-23-07 "John Henry sparkles in twilight" (http://www.kentucky.com/302/story/184201.html)


To witness this scene was a gift I will hold forever in my treasure box of racetrack memories. Here was this horse for the ages, frail of body, strong of will, who is still determined not to go.

He was kind to his visitors, nibbling their gifts of doughnuts with gentle, tickling lips. But the look in his eye when he held up his head was a statement of defiance.

Something deeper than any of us could ever wrap words around runs through this horse. We saw it on the racetrack. We see it now in the sunset of John Henry's days among us. He will go, when it is time. But not until he has decided for himself that it is time.

VirginiaBred
Sep. 23, 2007, 07:45 PM
Thank you for posting that Glimmerglass. Very nice.

canyonoak
Sep. 23, 2007, 09:10 PM
Thank you Glimmerglass. I've save that and send it to friends.

VirginiaBred
Sep. 24, 2007, 10:19 AM
From the Kentucky Horse Park this morning:

As of 8:15am, John Henry's caretaker, Cathy Roby, reported that John was screaming for his breakfast this morning when she arrived. Last night at 11pm, she came to the barn to check on him and he demanded a midnight snack, which he received (of course) of Senior formula feed and a doughnut. He is bright and hungry this morning.

BBowen
Sep. 24, 2007, 12:14 PM
Been saying lots of prayers for John Henry. I got a huge chuckle out of the last post from the Horse Park. So glad he is feeling better!!!! They don't make 'em like John Henry any more. When I go to Arlington Park, I always have to pay homage at the sculpture of John Henry.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 25, 2007, 12:30 AM
I wondered why they didn't - when it was dire - ship him to the world-class clinic across the street .. here is why:

DRF 9-22-07 "John Henry's toughness still shows" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/88773.html)

Excerpt


Park staff have opted to treat John Henry at home rather than take him to the nearby Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Roby said, because the gelding becomes upset leaving his barn - except for the jaunts he took earlier this spring and summer on a lead line. When he was in a mood to walk, Roby said, a park staffer would let him choose his own route. Sometimes John would head for the foals' paddock and then turn home. But on other days he would take the grand tour, peering over the fence at the cross-country course and examining the indoor arena.

Regarding his final resting place:


A week ago, the situation looked so grim that park officials quietly began making preparations for his death. Maintenance staff even marked the rough outlines of his grave in orange paint on the grass; plans call for it to lie near a tree at one end of the walkway leading toward the Hall of Champions

VirginiaBred
Sep. 26, 2007, 09:04 AM
From the KHP:

As of 11:15am, John Henry finished his breakfast and is getting ready for a day full of admirers. He has already been visited by a number of friends and acquaintences and is keeping cool in his stall. He went for a short walk yesterday, but didn't want to venture too far away from his stall and his fan.

VirginiaBred
Sep. 26, 2007, 09:05 AM
I hate that we're getting a blast of real hot weather again.............

Lynnwood
Sep. 26, 2007, 09:56 AM
I wonder with all the Parks resources if they could air condition his stall. Like they did for the stallion at Three Chimneys

Mariequi
Sep. 26, 2007, 10:43 AM
We have rain showing to our west, so hopefully that will come in. Supposed to be quite a bit cooler today and through the weekend.

miss_critic
Sep. 26, 2007, 12:02 PM
I wonder with all the Parks resources if they could air condition his stall. Like they did for the stallion at Three Chimneys

An article somewhere said he had a 5' high air conditioner in his stall that he stands in front of.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 26, 2007, 12:06 PM
DRF 9-22-07 "John Henry's toughness still shows" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/88773.html)


He also has the benefit of a 5-foot-tall portable air conditioner, and on Thursday afternoon he stood dozing in front of it. His mane lifted slightly in the cool jet of air, revealing that he still has a small catheter in his neck, in case he needs the intravenous fluids again.

Mariequi
Sep. 26, 2007, 02:26 PM
Yes, he didn't look uncomfortable yesterday. He is certainly adored and has concerned admirers constantly asking about him.

VirginiaBred
Sep. 26, 2007, 02:47 PM
Wednesday's Report:


As of noon, John Henry is having a quiet day after having finished his usual breakfast, topped-off with a couple of doughnuts earlier this morning. His night watchman reported that at 4am, John was banging on his stall door for treats. He is currently taking a nap.

VirginiaBred
Sep. 27, 2007, 03:47 PM
Thursday's Report:


As of 8:40am, John Henry is pinning his ears and swinging his skinny-but-still-mighty-powerful rear end toward one of his caretakers, Robin (this just means that he is feeling like the John Henry we all know and love). He is getting a little bit spoiled by all of the treats his fans are bringing him and becoming rather demanding. Appetite is great.

pinkdiamondracing
Sep. 27, 2007, 06:41 PM
I was sitting eating my lunch yesterday and reading about John and suddenly made up my mind to go see him, as I had never actually seen him in the flesh. Being the die-hard racetracker and owner of a senior thoroughbred (mine is 22) I wanted to see the legend before it might be too late. I stopped on my way out to the horse park at the little store on Russell Cave and Iron Works-- the Jot 'Em Down-- and picked up a couple packages of mini chocolate donuts and some Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie cookies for the grand old man. After paying to park and going inside-- I asked where to find the HOC-- since I had never been to the attractions there at the HP-- only going there for Rolex-- to watch my sister compete, I was greeted by a very nice lady who actually took me the shortest way to the HOC. Cathy Roby was still at lunch, so I waited until she got back, then explained that I knew one of the guys who worked the Night Shift there and that he and I talked about John every Sunday Morning. I told her that I had brougth treats for the old fellow and that my own lead pony was 22 and that i was an assistant trainer at the Thoroughbred Center and that I had cut my luch short to come see John. Cathy then took one of the cookies I had brought and took me to the door of the greatest race horse alive and opened it. John took the cookie from me and let me pet him on the head while Cathy and I chatted about how he was doing and how special he is to the racing world-- we talked about old horses and how we hope they get to go to their final places on their own terms-- John hopefully will just lie down and take a really long nap, and as for my old man-- he seems to want to go out working, since retirement doesn't seem to make him happy.. Needless to say, my fondest memory of John Henry will be the day I got to feed him a simple oatmeal creme pie cookie in his stall September 26,2007. :cry::sadsmile::sadsmile:

TappyShoes
Sep. 27, 2007, 07:06 PM
Someone on one of the other boards commented that they didn't understand why people on this board were getting so teary eyed at the prospect of losing John Henry. I think it's partly because the really great horses are so few and far between. From the time Secretariat won the Triple Crown until John Henry retired it was such an exciting time in horse racing. When they break records, when they show such tremendous heart, we get attached.

Here's what he did, it's still impressive:
"John Henry's final record was 83 starts, 39 wins, 15 seconds, and 9 thirds with $6,497,947 in earnings. He won seven Eclipse awards from 1980 through 1984 including Horse of the Year twice. At the time of his retirement, he was the highest money earning thoroughbred of all time."

ASB Stars
Sep. 27, 2007, 07:32 PM
That is the sweeeetteeesstt thing. Thank you- for those of us who have "met" John- but can't get there just now... :sadsmile:

If I get down to Lexington next month, it is at the TOP of the list! :winkgrin:

VirginiaBred
Sep. 27, 2007, 07:44 PM
Excellent posts, PDR & TS. Many thanks.

Some people just don't get it.


Then, thankfully, some do.

miss_critic
Sep. 27, 2007, 08:48 PM
At the time of his retirement, he was the highest money earning thoroughbred of all time."


If you look at deflated dollars, he is still the highest earner :)

VirginiaBred
Sep. 28, 2007, 12:27 PM
Kentucky Horse Park's Friday update:

9:15am: The weather has FINALLY started cooling off, so John Henry was out in his paddock this morning grazing and enjoying the cooler temperatures. He wanted to go for a walk before all of the staff and volunteers arrived, so he couldn't go at that time. However, he will go out later today, if he wants to. He is eating and drinking well, and fussing and carrying-on for treats. He is expecting quite a few fans this weekend who have announced that they will be coming to see him.

grits
Sep. 28, 2007, 10:39 PM
Another lovely tribute to John:

http://www.equisearch.com/equiwire_news/johnhenry_092807/index1.aspx

I love the old photo of him, pausing to smell the roses. It's so good to see so many of us savoring every moment of his life, right along with him.