Winners of the Triple Crown- In all, There Were Eleven

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1919 Sir Barton

The very first triple crown winner

Gallant Fox 1930

Successful in a winning endeavor

1935 was Omaha

Sired by the winning Gallant Fox

1937 War Admiral

Just like “Big Red” in the starting box

Whirlaway in 1941

Won a grand 32 first places!

Count Fleet 1943

He won 16 out of 21 races

Assault 1946

His wins were short but soon became taller

Citation 1948

Ran  well to the millionth dollar

Secretariat 1973

Known as the second “Big Red”

Seattle Slew 1977

In the triple crown he was quite far ahead

Affirmed 1978

Alydar could have won, too;

Alydar, he won three reds

barely bested by the great Affirmed’s blues.

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“Big Red” the Second

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I won the triple crown on 6/9/73 as the ninth winner.  I was born at Meadow Stables in Virginia in the year 1970, more specifically March 30.  As a 3 year old, I won 9 out of 12 starts, placing second twice and was third once.  There is a race held once a year named after me.  I was the second Thoroughbred racehorse in racing history known as ” Big Red.”  What was my name?

“Big Red” the Racehorse

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I was called “Big Red” and I did not race in the Kentucky Derby; in fact, I never raced in Kentucky although it I was born there.  I had a nearly perfect race record, winning 20 out of 21 races, finishing second only once.  I am the Blood Horse‘s top racehorse of the 1900s, racing in the early 20th century.  I was a Thoroughbred stallion.  What was my name? 

Alfalfa and Blister Beetles

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Horse facts as told by a Shetland pony.

 Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, tells about blister beetles and alfalfa hay.

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If you have ever taken a flake of alfalfa and shaken it out, only to find crushed striped or spotted bugs with large, spiny antennae hidden inside, you have probably encountered Blister Beetles.  These toxic pests are large, approximately 1 inch long.  The reason why they are harmful to horses upon ingestion is the presence of the  toxin Cantharidin, which remains inside the beetles for as many as three years.   Belonging to the family Meloidae,  Blister Beetles come in over 200 different species and may be black with yellow or orange stripes or grayish tan paired sometimes with black spots and sometimes without.

If your horse appears to be “off his feed”, Blister Beetles can be a prime suspect. These insects are sometimes eaten by horses, usually concealed in baled  alfalfa (a legume hay that is very high in protein); colic can occur.  The minimum lethal quantity of blister beetles for a 1,100 lb horse is thought to be as few, or even less than, 125 beetles.

Treatment of Blister Beetle poisoning can be difficult.  It has no specific treatment; in severe cases, mineral oil can be administered.  Horses have either recovered or succumbed within 1-3 days.  After treatment, laminitis can result.

Prevention is always the easiest and surest way.  One way to do this is not to feed  alfalfa or to obtain alfalfa from a field that is cut before it blooms for this reduces the possibility of hidden beetles.

Not all places are home to Blister Beetles, as they are usually found in warm, dry locations.  So, if the beetles have not been found in fields nearby or you do not feed alfalfa or other flowering hays, your horses are probably safe.