The 2017 Kentucky Derby can be summed up in one word: Muddy! And it may have been that very mud that caused one colt to opt out of the race before it even began. Horse lovers across the world were concerned that poor Thunder Snow injured himself when he stumbled at the starting gate, but vets determined that wasn't the case. It seems his high stepping and bucking might have been Thunder Snow's way of expressing his dislike of the mud beneath his hooves!
— Danielle Dozier (@DanielleDozier) May 6, 2017
The Irish-bred colt suffered a misstep right out of the gate and buckled under the weight of his jockey, Christophe Soumillion. Realizing that he could not recover from the stumble, an outrider came to help Soumillion calm Thunder Snow. The horse jogged “comfortably” along the rail and back to the paddock, according to Dr. Keith Latson, the Derby’s on-call vet.
Once there, he was thoroughly examined by veterinarian, Jennifer Kaak who found no injuries to his legs. Dr. Latson said that Thunder Snow simply "didn't break well," and that his behavior on the track was likely a response to the muddy track, not an injury.
Thunder Snow is owned by Sheikh Mohammed of the Maktoum family, who just happen to be the rulers of Dubai. Many had high hopes that he would become the first to win the Derby after exclusively racing in Europe and the UAE.
Thunder Snow out of the gates in the Kentucky Derby. Team @godolphin is to keep a close eye on him over the next 24 hours to ensure he is okay, even though upon examination he was cleared of any injury. Our priority is his welfare. photo credit: Kentucky.com • • • #horseracing #racehorse #thoroughbred #kyderby #kentuckyderby #weartheblue #teamgodolphin #thundersnow
The overall response to Thunder Snow's starting gate snafu is one of relief that he is unharmed, although those who placed their money on his 16-1 odds may still be licking their wounds!
It just goes to show that you should always expect the unexpected in a sport ruled by intelligent and highly stubborn animals!
H/T to The Washington Post
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Featured Image via Facebook/Thunder Snow