USA: Last year’s Kentucky Derby winner Country House has been retired from racing after developing laminitis.
The four-year-old, who was trained by Bill Mott, was awarded victory at Churchill Downs after first past the post Maximum Security was controversially disqualified for interference.
He had not run since the first leg of the Triple Crown with his owners revealing Country House had been undergoing extensive treatment since June.
A statement from Blackwood Stables said: “On June 27 Country House was sent to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital for a routine lameness examination, to be followed up by turn out.
“Country House was examined by Dr Larry Bramlage and was diagnosed with proximal suspensory ligament desmitis on both front fetlocks. Country House experienced complications and was readmitted to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital on July 1, where he was treated for a right front lower leg infection.
“Over the course of the next two weeks, the team at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital got the infection under control, but as a result of his non-weight bearing right front foot, he developed laminitis in his left front foot.
“He was released on July 15 and returned to Blackwood for stall rest. Over the coming months, Dr. Scott Morrison was able to stabilize the foot and make Country House more comfortable.
“He is currently on turn out and we anticipate that he will make a full recovery, but because of the laminitis and the subsequent steps taken to save his life, he will never race again. Over the past seven months, our primary focus has solely been on Country House and his health.
“With the Derby right around the corner and his health much improved, we felt it was an appropriate time to make this announcement. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this difficult time.”
Country House, a son of Lookin At Lucky, won twice from seven starts, earning prize-money of $2.1 million.