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What Killed Galileo Horse?

Galileo, or alternatively known as the ‘Wonder Horse’, was a beloved racehorse that was one of the most successful racehorses of all time. However, in December 2011, Galileo died unexpectedly at the age of 16. The cause of his death was a mystery, with many speculating that he had suffered from a heart attack or stroke. Despite the uncertainty surrounding his death, it has been determined that the horse was suffering from a rare neurological disorder that ultimately caused his demise.

The Nature of the Disorder

Galileo’s condition was a rare neurological disorder known as Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). EPM is caused by the protozoan parasite Sarcocystis neurona, which is usually contracted through consumption of infected feed or water. The parasite then invades the horse’s central nervous system, leading to a variety of symptoms including muscle weakness, difficulty walking, and an inability to balance. In the most severe cases, the disease can cause paralysis or death.

How Galileo Developed the Disorder

Although the exact source of Galileo’s infection is unknown, it is likely that he contracted the parasite through his feed or water. The parasite is often found in infected hay, feed, water, and soil and can quickly spread through a barn or stable. It is also possible that Galileo had been exposed to the parasite during his racing career, as the parasite has been known to spread through racing stables.

The Treatment of Galileo’s Illness

Once Galileo’s condition was diagnosed, he began a course of treatment to combat the disease. His veterinarian prescribed a combination of anti-inflammatory medications and nutritional supplements to help boost the horse’s immune system. The treatment was successful in reducing the inflammation and helping to manage the symptoms of the disease.

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Unfortunately, despite the treatment, Galileo’s condition eventually deteriorated and led to his death. The exact cause of death is still unclear, but it is believed that the neurological damage caused by the disease was too severe for the horse to survive.


Galileo was a beloved racehorse and one of the most successful of all time. Unfortunately, he was struck with a rare neurological disorder and despite the treatment, he eventually passed away. The exact cause of death is still unknown, but it is believed that the neurological damage caused by the disease was too severe for the horse to survive. Galileo was an incredible horse and will be remembered for his accomplishments and his courage in the face of adversity.