this is a fascinating discussion...I had the same reaction as everyone else about the terminology. IIRC wasn't Tigger Too an abdominal aortic rupture? My super tiny amount of knowledge makes me lean in the direction that these things aren't really fence related but the last straw as dw or someone else said. It would be interesting to see if they are possibly detectable (ie aneurysms?) or a maybe a genetic correlation. Regardless, I can't imagine how it must feel and Andrea will be in my prayers.
It is heartbreaking to know a horse that collapses and dies like this, especially because it frequently seems to correlate with flipping/falling over a fence. I donate to the cardiac study every year; personally and I request anyone using any of my photos donate to this cause (or one other). Please consider donating whatever you can, it is easy to do online, or I'm sure the staff at USEA would be happy to take a donation over the phone.
I too watched Kingpin's unfortunate end and without a doubt he was dead on his feet prior to take off at the trakehner (not sure if that is an accurate phrase but the best this layman can find to describe).
A friend and I saw him come across the crest of the hill and it was very clear something was very wrong. Mike was having a tough time. Not having a clue what we were seeing we initially thought "did he lose a shoe?", "is he lame" or was he having one of his nappy episodes? If only.
It was horrible.
So no, although he crashed after the fence he was already in trouble many, many strides earlier.
"look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."
Yesterday I was at my vet's Clinic and mentioned this recent accident. This vet also raises some very nice T'bred racehorses and quickly mentioned the death of the race horse "Swale" a horse who died on the way to the walker. A visiting friend had a roping horse that died while waiting for calves to break. My father had a horse walk into a field, stumble and die in 30 seconds. Yes sad in all cases, but jumping not a factor in these "cardiac events. What theses horse have in common--there were horses--horses that died..
I spoke with Andrea yesterday. She is able to move around very slowly and is expected to leave the hospital by Friday. She describes the pain as "a Boa Constrictor wrap around her chest". There is a video of the fall, and what it shows is the approach to the fence and the spot at take off were all good, but the mare just didn't "put out her landing gear". Neveah did not show any broken bones, and as Buck mentioned, she expired due to a heart attack. I am sure they will have another update on this to determine exactly what this "heart attack" was. However, Andrea knowing that the fall was out of her control has lifted a huge weight off of her shoulders. She is still very upset, but at least she will regain her confidence a bit quicker. I am heading down to Ocala to play caretaker for a few days and keep Andrea company. I'll keep ya'll posted on any more news that comes up!
My 16-year-old Thoroughbred Swaparound, (Chateaugay >Swaps), who raced until age 9, died of an aortic rupture out in a field, and dropped where he stood, almost dead upon impact. My son described him as motionless after he hit the ground.Vets at Ohio State said he probably lost consciousness very quickly and therefore no struggle. I always felt that it was a far better end for him than anything involving suffering or illness- however I was lucky that I wasn't riding him at the time.
Proud owner of one Lunar acre! (Campanus Crater, The Moon)
I knew of a horse that was also out in the pasture and had a "heart attack" of some sort. He was just coming in from the pasture to the gate and collapsed--falling into the fence line. His feet just went out from under him. The "good" part of this sort of death is that it does happen quickly. No lingering in pain and the owner having to make a decision. Still hard to deal with, though.
Having known a YR who lost a horse on course, fortunately not in a speed portion, the family was grateful to know that the death was caused by an aneurysm. But I doubt that other than the event officials, anyone else that was there, at that time, including fellow competitors ever knew.
This was in the days when things like this were handled very quietly.
Now, thanks to our communication system the word goes out, for better or worse. In this case Andrea knows there is nothing she did wrong, or could have foreseen. It has to help in her recovery.
I've been following this quietly and just feel horrible for Andrea to lose her horse and to be injured like this. My first horse dropped dead underneath me due to an aortic rupture so even more than the natural sympathy we all feel for a horsewoman in this position, I feel like I understand some of her grief. I wish her a swift recovery in her heart as well as her body.
(For those doing anecdote collection- 13-year-old TB out fox-hunting. Had been out for an hour. Came off a 2 or 3 minute gallop with no distress, had been at walk for about 2 minutes. Half-reared, fell over, and the huntsman's opinion was he was dead before he hit the ground. I seem to remember that he seemed to be alive enough to flail around for a few seconds after he was on the ground- long enough to get off me, anyway- but I was in shock at the time and I don't remember it clearly.)
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
Renn, the horse was almost certainly insensible within seconds. The thrashing that is often seen is reflexive--the brain, when no longer receiving its blood supply, becomes unconscious LONG before the muscles and other lower-brain and body functions cease working. It's hard to say with certainty, but these animals almost certainly do not suffer for very long and possibly not at all, depending on what makes them collapse in the first place.