03/18/2003 1:00AM

Horse Chestnut recovering


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Horse Chestnut, a Claiborne Farm stallion, is recuperating from colic surgery and will miss four or five weeks of the breeding season.

An 8-year-old son of Fort Wood, Horse Chestnut showed signs of colic Monday at about 5:15 p.m., prompting the Paris, Ky., farm to send him to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, according to Gus Koch, manager of Claiborne. Dr. Alan Ruggles performed the surgery at Rod and Riddle. Horse Chestnut was recovering smoothly at the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, and Koch said he was expected to remain there for the next several days.

Koch said that "about 10 feet" of Horse Chestnut's bowel was trapped in the gastrosplenic ligament, a fibrous ligament between the spleen and the stomach.

Koch said that Ruggles did not have to do a bowel resection, "because the bowel was healthy, and he was able to correct the problem. Horse Chestnut is a great horse, very intelligent, and he's been a good patient. He's doing very well."

Horse Chestnut, South Africa's champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year in 1999, stands at Claiborne for an advertised fee of $10,000 and has covered 28 mares so far this season.