“You blew it, boys and girls. So stand up and take your medicine. Sit down and talk about it. Figure out what you screwed up. You're about to see the demise of this industry because of your mistake.”
Those were the decisive words of veterinarian Dr. Steven Allday, racetrack practitioner who is known for his ability to diagnose lameness in Thoroughbreds, on the Mongolian Groom situation. Allday appeared on Steve Byk's At The Races radio program on Nov. 12 and provided his opinion on videos of the horse's workouts shot throughout the week before he suffered a fatal injury in his left hind while running in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Allday pointed the finger at the team of 30 veterinarians employed by the Breeders' Cup to conduct thorough pre-race examinations of runners ahead of the race.
“The only thing I can tell you is, I wasn't there and I wasn't asked to evaluate him,” Allday told Byk. “Obviously he wasn't a patient or client of mine. But from what I see, that horse is visibly deficit in the left hind and unless they knew the severity or the cause of it, the nature, a lame horse really shouldn't race.
“I can't tell you what their priorities are, or what they were looking for or what their parameters are. I can only tell you that the thing they've got to do is look in the mirror. Whoever those 30 vets are, I hope they're listening, and if not they can go back and listen to the archive. You can say you heard it from me first – bottom line is, it's a shame that a horse that I work on regularly and know well, Vino Rosso, wins a race like that and the only thing they can discuss or talk about is the fact that a horse broke down. So those 30 people, they should print a list of them in the Paulick Report or the Blood-Horse or whatever, they should be held responsible for making, ultimately a decision that could cause the demise of this industry. It's past the time where everybody just passes the buck. It really all comes down to, the buck's gotta stop somewhere.”
Allday was one of several veterinarians contacted by Paulick Report staffers Nov. 3 who provided off-the-record opinions that those videos showed a lameness in the horse's left hind limb.
Allday stressed that regulatory veterinarians should be particularly cautious when examining horses preparing for top-level competition because those races are likely to provide a more intense challenge that could result in greater physical exertion.
As a practicing veterinarian, he sees his role as identifying problems well before a horse exhibits lameness.
“When a horse has got a limp, then it's usually a little too late,” he said. “Therefore, letting a horse that limps race is way too late. You've gone too far.”
Listen to the full interview here. (Allday's portion begins at approximately minute 38 of Part 2 of the Nov. 12 program.)
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