Popular racehorse Balthazar King is receiving first class care from vets at the University of Liverpool's Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital in Merseyside and is already back on his feet after incurring an injury when running in the Crabbie’s Grand National.
The 11-year-old racehorse, who was among the favourites to win the Grand National, was injured and fractured ribs when he fell at the Canal Turn fence during the race on 11th April. He immediately received expert care from the racecourse vets before being taken to Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital to receive further treatment.
One of the team who is treating Balthazar King at the equine hospital is Dr Ellen Singer, senior lecturer in equine orthopaedics, who also works at Aintree racecourse on racedays.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Dr Singer said: “During the Grand National there’s a vet every two fences so Balthazar King received immediate treatment on the course. It was lucky that he came here so quickly by horse ambulance and has responded well to treatment, because if a decision had been made to just monitor his condition for an hour or so at the course we could have had a very different outcome.
“Since being here he’s been given oxygen and pain relief and we’ve been closely monitoring his breathing. We’re doing what we can to make sure he’s comfortable. The first couple of days he was very quiet, but now he’s quite bright and eager to eat, which is a good sign.”
Balthazar King is recovering well, and has recently been back on his feet and led out of the stable. It is hoped that he can return to his trainer Philip Hobbs shortly. Hobbs and his team will ensure that the popular racehorse continues to receive the very best care during his rehabilitation. Hobbs is hopeful that Balthazar King will be able to return to the racecourse following his recovery.
Speaking to the Racing Post, Hobbs said: "I see no reason why he cannot race again. Horses with broken ribs have continued racing in the past, so why can't he? But they tell me he is coming along just fine and we hope to have him back sometime next week."
A study by Liverpool University found that 62% of “traumatic injuries” (ranging from grazes to fractures) suffered by a sample of leisure and competition horses occurred when turned out in the field, compared to only 13% during ridden exercise. British Racing is committed to providing the best possible standards of veterinary care for its horses and has invested, via the Horserace Betting Levy Board, over £27 million since 2000 in Veterinary Research and Education. The sport's substantial investment in Veterinary Research and Education brings benefits for all breeds of horse in Britain.