Featured Image: Biscay’s Fore-Pastern, Navicular and Pedal Bones ‘harvested’ on Saturday 26th October 1986 by the author with the explicit permission of David Bath, Stud Master, Bhima Stud, Scone.
Note: The smaller navicular bones (3) in the centre of the image are considered to be ‘normal’ examples. ‘Floating’ bony exostoses also retrieved are included on the lateral sides of the pedal bones..
It’s intriguing to speculate the influence this condition had on the outstanding career of thoroughbred stallion ‘Biscay’. He’s one of my favourites as I’ve alluded to many times in my ‘Blog’ posts. To my certain knowledge his even more spectacular son ‘Bletchingly’ also suffered from the ailment albeit less stringently. It’s even possible that super-sire Star Kingdom showed signs of the condition during the latter part of his majestic rule at ‘Baramul’. There’s a famous photograph of ‘minder’ Noel Hennessy walking him along the sandy bed of Widden Creek when in strong flow to ‘cool his forefeet’?
Professor Chris Pollitt of Queensland University has made a detailed study of the bones depicted in the featured image. The direct radiographs of the extricated navicular bones are spectacular. I wish I knew the answers, but I suspect I never will. I still find it fascinating, nonetheless. Significantly ‘Biscay’ had a medially (‘inward’) deviated left-fore pastern between the fetlock and hoof. It’s not really apparent from the featured image; but what if you used your imagination? It’s good job his breeder (STW) did not offer him for sale as a yearling. Most ‘good judges’ would have have condemned him! It didn’t prevent him from developing as the fastest young thoroughbred of his generation.
See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/biscay/
Postscript: I also retrieved the ‘final’ set of fore-shoes from Biscay at this time. They were developed by Master Farrier Albert O’Cass and designed to ease the pain associated with this condition. They were mounted on a polished wooden board by John Flaherty and are now on display at Kitchwin Hills Stud together with similar shoes from ‘Baguette’ and ‘Gunsynd’. They are ‘owned’ by David Bath’s nephew Jarrod Bowditch.