$16 million horse (at 2 yrs old), The Green Monkey, who’ll forever be etched in thoroughbred history for that world-record price tag was euthanized at Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds in May due to laminitis, according to owner/breeder Randy Hartley.The Green Monkey was fourteen years old at the time of death.

Laminitis, as defined on the HYGAIN nutrition page, is an inflammation of the laminae of the horse’s foot. Laminae refer to the insensitive and sensitive tissue that is located between your horse’s hoof wall and coffin bone. The laminae are tiny finger-like structures that interlock and secure the coffin bone to the hoof wall and keep the bone in place. If your horse’s blood flow to these laminae is disrupted, inflammation occurs that weakens the laminae structures and interferes with the hoof wall to bone bond making the laminae unable to hold the coffin bone in place. That is exactly what laminitis is – an inflammation of the laminae. Laminitis can affect one or all feet, but it is most often seen in the front feet simultaneously.

If the weight of the horse overcomes the cohesion between the two sets of interdigitating laminae in the front (dorsal) part of the hoof, the case turns from laminitis to acute founder. The weight of the horse pushes the coffin bone towards the ground and the pull of the deep digital flexor tendon rotates the coffin bone. This process is extremely painful to the horse and can be easily diagnosed by feeling a supra-coronary depression above the dorsal coronary band. In some cases, the coffin bone will protrude through the sole of the hoof, which is called solar prolapse. There are things one can do to battle laminitis. Racehorsemeds has a huge inventory that has everything you might need.

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“He was a once-in-a-lifetime horse,” Hartley said. “(The record price) was life-changing for us.”

Hartley, said the 14-year-old son of ‘Forestry’ had battled health issues for four years now, and earlier in the year, the issues became insurmountable. The horse was buried at the farm.

Since the decision was forced to have to euthanize the horse, Hartley said it had been an emotional time at the stables in Ocala, Florida, because The Green Monkey had “an indelible impact on the farm and sales entity.”

“He had been struggling physically for about four years. He had had some laminitis, and we had done everything we could to make him as comfortable as we could. He had gotten better, but then about six months ago it got worse. Everybody was putting (euthanasia) off, but he was basically down more than up and then It became the right thing to do.”

Bred in Florida by Satish Sanan’s Padua Stables, The Green Monkey was bought by Hartley/DeRenzo for $425,000 from Taylor Made Sales Agency at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling Sale in July.

“We stretched to get him,” Hartley said. “At $400,000 I was done. Dean is the one who decided to go to four-and-a-quarter. The whole way home he asked, ‘Do you think we paid too much?’ I said, ‘I guess not, we have him now.’ When we got him home (to the farm) and turned him out, I said he will be the fastest horse we ever have because he’s just a freak.”

Pinhooked into the following year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale at Calder Race Course, the colt turned heads when he sizzled an eighth-mile in :09 4/5 in the pre-sale under tack show workout.

The Green Monkey electrified the sale ring, too, with Demi O’Byrne, representing the Coolmore Stud connections of Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith, outlasting Sheikh Mohammed’s then-agent John Ferguson in a protracted bidding war as the hammer fell on the $16 million record.

However, The Green Monkey, trained by Todd Pletcher, was unable to live up to expectations on the track. The horse was saddled with an injury-plagued career in which he finished third just once, in a meager three starts and was eventually retired with earnings of only $10,440.

Hartley/DeRenzo purchased a half-interest in The Green Monkey after being retired, and the horse entered stud at its Florida farm, servicing 40 mares in his first year. The stallion was unable to generate much interest from mare owners after that.

The best horses that were sired by The Green Monkey were ‘Monkey Business’, winner of the filly Triple Crown in Panama, and North American black-type winners ‘Kinz Funky Monkey’ and ‘Green Doctor’.

Hartley said there is a daughter of The Green Monkey on the farm who has produced successful runners when mated to Quarter Horse stallions.

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