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Racing with a bad eye

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  • Racing with a bad eye

    My yearling filly has injured her eyelid which has caused no damage at this point to the eye itself but without full use of her eyelid I am alittle concerned about the eye. She is a nice big fiily, 1/2 to a 100K+ earner and I had planned to get her broke earlier next year with plans of running her in the fall. So my question is if her eye is somehow affected can she still run? Its her right eye and I think I remember horses that have raced without a rail eye but this is the other one. Maybe with a closed cup blinker to protect the eye from flying dirt. Ideas/suggestions?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Yeah she can still run. She may need a full cup blinker or she may not, you will just have to wait and see. Its possible she could run with it uncovered if it is blown out well and flushed immediately afterward. I think you will be able to figure that out by working her in company and seeing how she reacts to dirt in her face. She will take careful management where someone looks closely at her eye everyday to make sure its ok. She might need moisturizing drops or antibiotic ointment on occasion. In the meantime I would invest in a good fly mask to protect it as much as possible.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Laurie! I thought she might still have a racing chance at least I was hoping so, her 1/2 brother just won again today and she seems to have a good attitude. Guess only time will tell. And she has been wearing a fly mask since the vet left..she hates it!

      Comment


      • #4
        I totally second what Laurierace said - 100%.

        Good luck with her!

        Comment


        • #5
          If she has vision in the eye, you can get a clear full cup blinker made for her - it just looks like a plastic bubble. I've heard of some people using them on horses running on polytrack so they don't get any of the surface in their eyes (apparently it is quite nasty if it does happen).
          My gelding raced quite successfully missing his right eye - about 60 races at the $10K level - 8 wins, made over $90K. (not Secretariat, but hopefully you get my point). He wore a closed blinker to protect the socket from any divots or such thrown up during a race. In his race videos, he would swing wide on the stretch to check out the field, and then gear up for the wire.
          Dee
          Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
          Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
          http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks everyone! She came home from Cornell today and they were able to save alittle over 1/4 of her eyelid closest to her tearduct. At this point she has 100% sight in her eye so I am going to diligently follow all the advice from Cornell and make sure that we stay that way!!!! I am very happy to have her home. Surprisingly she has never missed a meal and is on very little pain killers.

            I will keep everyone posted.

            Comment


            • #7
              I believe Pollard's Vision had no visual eye on the right- he acquited himself quite well.

              Good Luck with your filly!
              http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cool-S...m/251196806403

              Comment


              • #8
                Glad to hear it went well Gerry. I had a scare on Saturday and I thought of your filly. My mare made her first start off of her failed broodmare attempt. She essentially made a "Mare's gone wild" video over spring break and then came back to the track in August. I knew she might need a race but I was really shocked/disappointed when she ran dead last. About 30 minutes later the reason for that became apparent. She had a big gash in her eye for lack of a better term. The vet said she lost about 1/3 of her cornea. I think she got hit in the eye with a stick coming out of the gate because she threw her head up and sort of lost action for a bit. It looked terrible but the next day it was way better and today you could hardly see it at all. I am going to cut back on the bute and banamine and see if it stays looking as good. Hopefully I won't have to find out for myself how well they run with one eye.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home

                Comment


                • #9
                  My friend's got a gelding that raced with one eye, can't remember his registered name to look it up but he made some $$$ on the track before he retired. He was born without an eye on his left (rail) side.
                  ~ Shannon Hayden ~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                    Glad to hear it went well Gerry. I had a scare on Saturday and I thought of your filly. My mare made her first start off of her failed broodmare attempt. She essentially made a "Mare's gone wild" video over spring break and then came back to the track in August. I knew she might need a race but I was really shocked/disappointed when she ran dead last. About 30 minutes later the reason for that became apparent. She had a big gash in her eye for lack of a better term. The vet said she lost about 1/3 of her cornea. I think she got hit in the eye with a stick coming out of the gate because she threw her head up and sort of lost action for a bit. It looked terrible but the next day it was way better and today you could hardly see it at all. I am going to cut back on the bute and banamine and see if it stays looking as good. Hopefully I won't have to find out for myself how well they run with one eye.
                    Geez, Laurierace, that sucks. Jingles for her!
                    It's amazing what freakish things can happen during a race - I remember a horse coming back from a race with a shut eye from a shoe launched up from the track during a race - doN't know if it came off during the race, or was already on the track and tossed up with a clod of dirt.
                    Dee
                    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
                    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks everyone for the encouraging words and well wishes. The filly visited Cornell for a few days and wow what an improvement. She was not an ideal patient since she kept rubbing her eye so the major stitch isnt going to stay in and it will always look unpleasant..BUT the great news is that about 3/4 of her eye lid is still there, between the stitches she didnt scratch out and the the part she didnt injure. The site is still ugly but her eye is perfect and although her eyelid will never be perfect it sure looks better than when she left here. The hardest part is the eyedrops she needs 3x a day...she knows how to make herself really really tall.

                      Laurie, I hope Lisa is OK. I knew something must have happened when I saw the chart.

                      Dee, a few years ago we got a mare thru Canter from Northampton...her eye had been injured by something hitting her during a race and the jock swears it wasnt dirt. The trainer thought she was going to be blind in that eye, it took a month but she has total eyesight..now if she would just have a foal!
                      Last edited by Norcrest; Oct. 7, 2007, 05:42 PM. Reason: major typos

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just a few:

                        from July 28, 1927 Trotter & Pacer
                        In speaking of the trotting mare, Rosetta M., by Peter the Great 2:071/4, out of Humma, by Bingen 2:061/4, which has been raced in England for some time despite her blindness, the London Trotting World says: "Probably no horse in Europe could beat this mare over a distance of more than a mile."
                        ------------------
                        Killbuck Tom weighed not to exceed one thousand pounds and was fourteen and one-half hands high. His well-shaped bead, with large hazel eyes, fine sensitive ears and small muzzle, was set on a long arched neck. He was well-proportioned throughout with strong locomotive parts, with the best of legs and feat. In color he was a golden bay with pink nose and had small speckles or white markings over his hips which was indicative of his Arabian ancestry. At all times he showed great intelligence, pride and dignity. All in all he was most beautiful and was many times adjudged to be a perfect horse. The strong structure of his bodily frame gave him good health, power, endurance and contributed to his long life, as be attained the extreme age of thirty-one years. Owing to a contagious disease he was blind for ten years prior to his death, yet with this handicap be won several hard-fought races after being totally blind.
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                        Born in 1871, Scott Hudson was one of the top driver-trainers of the early 20th Century. His best year was 1902, when he won the M&M Stakes at Detroit with the blind stallion Rhythmic,
                        -----------------------
                        from June 1959 Hoof Beats
                        In a recent issue of Hoof Beats, there was a question on the advisability of racing a horse blind in one eye. The following letter was sent in to Delvin Miller by M. M. Weller of Ligonier, Pa.:
                        "Mr. Miller in your corner of the February issue of Hoof Beats the question what are the chances of racing a horse that is blind in one eye. In March issue under leading dash winning horses in 1958 Wanda's Star is listed under aged trotters as being the 3rd on the list. Wanda's Star is as blind as a bat in his right eye and has been for 4 years. In 1956 he won 12 heats, 1957 won 14 dashes and 1958 he was the winner of 20 dashes. He has been a real horse for us. He is by Bunter McElwyn and Wanda Spier the mare I bought from you 20 years ago."
                        -----------------
                        from Feb 1959 Hoof Beats
                        Q. What are the chances of racing a horse that is blind in one eye?
                        A. There are plenty racing now with one eye covered up with a murphy blind and it doesn't seem to bother them. I have seen horses race blind in one eye and it didn't bother them, in fact Dottie's Pick was practically blind in one eye at times and raced good. A horse blind from birth or at any early age is accustomed to seeing from one eye and in my opinion will race all right.
                        There have been instances where totally blind horses have raced and raced good.
                        -----------------------
                        Mabel Trask
                        http://www.mi-harness.net/publct/hh/mbltrsk.html
                        Dr. A. S. Talbert of Lexington, Ky., went to the farm of Col. R. P. Pepper and purchased Jessie Pepper for $300. Training was started and Jessie could show quite a flight of speed. Mambrino Chief also passed another thing along to his daughter; this was the trend toward blindness of the Mambrino clan. This coupled with a hard training schedule left the big mare totally blind. She was then put into the broodmare band, where she never saw one of her foals.
                        -------------------
                        from the 1904 Hamilton Busbey book
                        Sleepy Tom was a chestnut gelding by Tom Rolfe, and, although totally blind, fought his races with great determination. The confidence that he reposed in his driver was wonderful. He obtained a record of 2.12¼. In 1883 the brown gelding Rich ball was a circuit sensation, beating such horses as A Westmont, Gurgle, Flora Belle, Sleepy Torn, Buffalo Girl, and Lucy, and by this time nearly every prominent trotting stable had added one or more fast pacers to its string. The pacing races appealed to the speculative feeling, and the betting was fast and furious when they were in progress.
                        ----------------------
                        The blind pacing gelding, Sleepy Tom, that lowered the World's Record for that gait to 2:12¼ in 1979 was the original headliner of the Grand Circuit, though crowded for honors by the Tennessee mare, Mattie Hunter, driven by youthful Ed Geers. Then came the first of the Hals from Tennessee
                        --------------
                        Olcott Axworthy went blind as a colt, which blighted his racing career (though he raced well for a horse thus afflicted) and made it impossible for him to have any real chance as a sire. Otherwise he too might now rank high in the Axworthy hierarchy.
                        ---------------

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