Here in Kentucky, we go to great lengths to take care of our lady horses. And, if they are stakes winners, we are sure to give them the tender loving care they need and deserve.
So, it is with much relief that we received the good news yesterday from Lexington's Stonestreet Farm, that the beloved mare Rachel Alexandra--2009's Horse of the Year--has returned home; beginning the next stage of her remarkable recuperation following abdominal surgery in mid-February. Stonestreet employees decorated her stall with cards from fans as they awaited her arrival; a get-well banner from Fair Grounds Racecourse stretched across the barn, ready to welcome the hard-fighting champion home.
“Having Rachel home is a milestone in her recovery. Our Stonestreet team is so happy to have her home and we are eager to give her all the exceptional care and attention she needs,” said Barbara Banke, “I am deeply grateful to Drs. Woodie, Barr, Reed and the entire Rood & Riddle team for the unparalleled care Rachel has received at their facility. A special thank you as well to Medical Technician Brent Comer for his dedication to her care, and to Alex Riddle for keeping Rachel’s fans updated on her progress.”
Rachel’s first few days at home will focus on ensuring she is comfortable in her surroundings through hand grazing. She will then transition to a small, temporary round pen the size of her stall. As Rachel becomes comfortable and her team feels satisfied with her progress, panels will be inserted to gradually extend that round pen.
Rachel Alexandra is healing well following a surgical procedure performed March 7th to drain an abscess that developed adjacent to her reproductive tract and rectum, after removal of a damaged section of colon following the birth of her filly by Bernardini on February 12th.
Meanwhile, over at Lexington's Lane's End Farm, owned by Mr. and Mrs. William S. Farish, First and foremost, Zenyatta is doing well! She has not yet foaled, and as of this morning she is relaxing in her paddock. The team at Lane’s End is keeping a close eye on her, and she is in the best hands.
Zenyatta, you will recall, became the first female to win the Grade I Breeders Cup Classic and the first horse ever to win two different Breeder's Cup Races.
As the foaling date draws nearer, Zenyatta will be brought up to the foaling barn where she will stay until she foals. In the foaling barn she will be under 24 hour surveillance as her handlers patiently wait for her to foal.
If you're interested, by the way (or even if you're not), baby horses under the age of 1 are called "foals." For the next 2 years, they're called "yearlings." Once they turn 3 years of age, the boy horses are called "colts," and the girl horses are properly referred to as "fillies." After their 4th birthday, male horses are called "stallions," and females are called "mares." When a stallion becomes a daddy, we call him the "sire," and the mommy mare is called a "dam." "Geldings" are boy horses who will never become daddies, for reasons totally beyond the scope of this article.
Photos courtesy Lane's End Farm, Stonestreet Farm.