Thoroughbred Brazilian Triple Crown winner Bal a Bali was admitted to Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) on August 3, 2014. The elite athlete was treated for life threatening laminitis by Staff Surgeon Dr. Weston Davis of PBEC in conjunction with Dr. Vernon Dryden just months after his Triple Crown win in March of that year.
Brazil’s 2014 Horse of the Year, Bal a Bali (Put It Back—In My Side, by Clackson) took an impressive win in the Grande Premio Cruzeiro do Sul (Brz-I) to become the country’s 12th Triple Crown winner. He finished the race in track-record time at Gavea racecourse.
Following his last start in June 2014, Bal a Bali was purchased by Fox Hill Farm and Siena Farm and imported to the U.S. in late summer, but unfortunately contracted laminitis during his travels. Bal a Bali was in a Florida quarantine scheduled to fly to trainer Richard Mandella's stable in California when the problems developed.
Bal a Bali was quickly moved to Palm Beach Equine Clinic where he was received by Dr. Weston Davis, who would oversee his care in hospital for the next three months. PBEC set aside a barn as a quarantine unit to meet the horse’s final import requirements where he was treated with aggressive cryotherapy – a gold standard of laminitis care. Hospital Staff monitored Bal a Bali in the cold-water spa continuously for the next several days through the severe acute phase of his disease, and then he was gradually weaned out of the spa as he improved clinically.
On two occasions, Dr. Davis performed Intravenous Regional Perfusions of the feet with state of the art Stem Cells. A myriad of other medical therapies were administered though the course of his stay. Progression of laminitis was monitored closely with the use of radiographs, and advanced farrier management for the optimal sole support and mechanics to decrease strain on his fragile lamina. By October, the horse was cleared to travel to Siena Farm in Kentucky. There, Dr. Dryden continued to treat the horse and he was then flown to California in January.
After a nine-month recovery process, Bal a Bali made a miraculous return to the track for his North American debut in May 2015. He cruised to victory in the $100,000 American (G3), a one-mile turf race for three-year-olds and up at Santa Anita Park. At that point, the five-year-old horse had captured 12 of 13 career starts and earned $570,078. Bal a Bali’s comeback was no doubt a result of the outstanding care he received at Palm Beach Equine Clinic under the extraordinary supervision of Dr. Weston Davis and Dr. Vernon Dryden. Thank you Fox Hill Farm and Siena Farm for the trust you placed in Palm Beach Equine Clinic.
Bal a Bali Photo Credit: Rayetta Burr for Benoit Photo