Funny Cide is NOT amused by his new grazing muzzle, originally uploaded by Rock and Racehorses.
Oh, that look. I know that look. And if an almost-Triple Crown winner gave you that look, could you say "Noooooo, sorry, big guy, it's for your own good" and turn your back?
Well, that's what the Kentucky Horse Park was saying last month, when they turned out one of their celebrity boarders on the lush green paddocks...with a grazing muzzle attached to his halter.
Don't worry, Funny Cide can still graze. It's not cruel, just a little inconvenient. There is a hole in the bottom of the muzzle and he can munch on the grass through that, but it slows him way down. It probably has the same effect as if I ate my breakfast cereal with slippery chopsticks. Grazing muzzles are becoming quite common equipment for "easy keeper" horses or horses that are on weight control programs or who are unable to exercise because of lameness problems.
Funny Cide's reward for wearing the muzzle is that he will look svelt for all his fans when they come to visit him this summer, but most of all, it will help him avoid the risks of grass-related laminitis. Chowing down on a lawn-like paddock such as the vast green expanses of the Kentucky Horse Park could be a disaster for an "easy keeper" like Funny Cide.
To refresh your memory, Funny Cide hails from New York and won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2003. He's been a resident of the Horse Park since December 2008, when he retired after a second career as a stable pony for his trainers Barclay Tagg and Robin Smullen. He won nine stakes races, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup, won an Eclipse Award, stayed relatively sound, and raced until he was seven in 38 races and won more than $3 million. He was bred by Winstar Farm in Kentucky, and is a son of their stallion Distorted Humor.
All that, and he has to wear a grazing muzzle? It's because they love you, Funny Cide!
Many thanks to Sarah K. Andrew/Rock and Racehorses for catching this incredibly Funny Cide moment!