2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra was sent home to Stonestreet Farm this past Tuesday to begin the next stage of her recuperation following abdominal surgery performed at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington, Ky.
The now 7-year-old mare, with the white upside down question mark marking on her face, had been hospitalized since February 12.
“Having Rachel home is a milestone in her recovery,” said owner Barbara Banke. “I am deeply grateful to Drs. (Brett) Woodie, (Bonnie) Barr, (Steve) Reed and the entire Rood & Riddle team for the unparalleled care Rachel has received. A special thank you to Alex Riddle for keeping Rachel’s fans updated on her progress and to Medicine Technician Brent Comer for his dedication to her care.”
For now, a Rood & Riddle medical team will accompany Rachel back home and watch her around the clock while Dr. Barr checks her progress with daily visits to the farm.
“This time of transition is a big step, as well as an added stress in her recovery from a very serious, life-threatening condition,” said Dr. Barr. “We feel, however, that she is ready to take on this challenge, and in doing so, she takes the next step toward getting back to life on the farm.”
Rachel Alexandra’s first few days at home will primarily be to ensure she is comfortable in her surroundings through daily hand grazing before graduating to a small, round pen the size of her stall and then eventually be turned out in her paddock.
“As Rachel becomes comfortable and her team feels satisfied with her progress, panels will be inserted to gradually extend that round pen,” the release read. “These slow, deliberate, day-to-day steps are designed to evolve into turnout in a regularly sized round pen followed ultimately by transition to a small paddock. While this process could take as little as a couple of weeks, Rachel and her team will set a cautious pace.”
This is great news for one of the greatest horses to even step foot (or hoof) on the racetrack….Looking forward….I can’t help but to wonder, would it be wise to breed her again next spring? Readers, let the official debate begin….