Balko Des Flos finished 9th of 15 in the Cross Country race at Cheltenham on Friday. Rachael Blackmore once again rode him with great confidence.
Unfortunately Balko didn't jump with his usual zest throughout the race and was slow over some obstacles, especially the banks. Whereas in his last race he travelled so strongly, he never really tanked as we know. He did however keep going all the way up the hill.
Walking back into the unsaddling area post race, Rachael Blackmore felt he didn't feel quite right behind. Shortly after the race on his way back to the stable yard he was very sore on his hind right leg. Henry De Bromhead immediately got veterinary attention to check him over which included x-rays.
As with every horse, their well-being is our main priority so a full MOT was carried out. Subsequently it was found that he had in fact got a stone bruise in his foot. This is the equivalent of trying to go for a run with a stone in your sock, so the pain is not nice!
He could have stood on a stone leading up to the race and it took the pressure of the race to bring it out which would describe his under performance. The gunge in his foot from the stone bruise was released so with some careful treatment he should be back exercising in just over a week.
The fact he still tried his heart out when obviously in pain shows what a warrior he is and as always we are so proud of Balko.
Fingers crossed he recovers well and we all see him back in action very soon.