Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was put down yesterday (29 January), eight months after breaking his left hind leg in the Preakness Stakes.

The colt had undergone operations to repair multiple fractures and treat complications such as laminitis and absesses. He was put down as a result of a deep bruise in his right hind foot and laminitis in both front legs.

Barbaro struck a chord with the American public after winning the Kentucky Derby by 6 1/2 lengths, the largest margin since 1946. When he subsequently broke down soon after leaving the stalls in the Preakness Stakes, hundreds of cards and flowers were sent to the New Bolton Veterinary Center where he remained up until his death. “We will remember Barbaro as a beautiful, magnificent, and brave horse,” said a spokesperson for the New Bolton Center.

Dr. Dean Richardson, chief of surgery at the New Bolton Center, who has been treating Barbaro for the last eight months assures that he was happy for the majority of time and was “comfortable, and alert,” when the final anaesthetic was administered.

“Barbaro’s gallant fight to triumph over his injury and his laminitis has ended,” said the spokesperson. “The decision was made by considering what was best for him as a patient.”