Vet Alex Harthill Retiring After Half Century

After more than a half century as a leading Kentucky veterinarian, Alex Harthill, who cared for many of racing's all-time greats, announced he is retiring at the age of 78.

Harthill told The Daily Racing Form that he is retiring due to the lingering effects of injuries he received more than a year ago when a horse he treated that suffered from West Nile Virus lost control of his muscles and toppled over him. He broke both legs and his back in the accident.

"I haven't gotten any better," he said. "Goes with getting old. A back injury is a tough thing for a veterinarian, because you've got to get down there where the problems are. It's got to where I just can't keep up."

Among the greats he treated during his career are Citation, Northern Dancer, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, and Sunday Silence.