11/14/2013 12:16PM

Juvenile brother of Black Caviar has severe case of laminitis

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The 2-year-old half-brother to champion sprinter Black Caviar, purchased as a yearling for an Australian record $4.65 million, has contracted a life-threatening case of laminitis, according to multiple reports in the Australian press.

The colt, who is not yet officially named and is called “Jimmy,” was given just a 50-50 chance of survival Thursday following a series of freak events. Jimmy apparently was bitten by a spider about two weeks ago while stabled at Grace Park in Connewarre, Australia, and was taken to Werribee Veterinary Clinic, where he was treated with antibiotics.

The antibiotics caused an allergic reaction that produced severe diarrhea and led to the onset of laminitis, a disease affecting the hooves. In the most serious cases of laminitis, the coffin bone rotates and sinks, rendering a horse unable to walk. 

By Redoute’s Choice, the colt was produced by Helsinge, the dam of Black Caviar, the Australian folk hero retired after winning all 25 of her starts. Purchased last April, Jimmy was not yet in full training but had been broken and was in pre-training in hopes of his debuting next spring. Even if the colt recovers from the laminitis, he reportedly is unlikely to be fit for racing.