02/28/2013 4:45PM

Rachel Alexandra continues to make positive progress


As 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra recovers from surgery for foaling complications, veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., continue to be pleased with her progress.

Dr. Brett Woodie, who performed the Feb. 13 surgery, on Thursday called the 7-year-old Medaglia d'Oro mare's progress "better than expected."

Rachel Alexandra, who is no longer receiving intravenous fluids and nutrition, is continuing to hand walk and graze several times a day as she continues her recovery at the clinic.

"Her vitals are normal and her trademark spirit has returned, including a nip here and there," owner Stonestreet Farm stated in a release Thursday afternoon.

Rachel Alexandra began showing signs of distress on the afternoon of Feb. 13 after delivering a Bernardini filly, her second foal, early on Feb. 12 at Stonestreet in Lexington. She was rushed to Rood and Riddle, where exploratory abdominal surgery revealed a damaged area in the mare's small colon, injured during foaling, which led to a bacterial infection. Surgeons removed the damaged section of the small colon and successfully reattached the two remaining ends.

Dr. Bonnie Barr, an attending veterinarian on the case, has commented several times on Rachel Alexandra's strong will and intelligence, and said Thursday that the mare "lets us take care of her."

Rachel Alexandra's filly has remained in good health, and continues to thrive under the care of nurse mare Miss Beutiful Ojos at Stonestreet Farm. Stonestreet on Thursday also updated the status of the Quarter Horse mare’s own filly, stating that she is doing well.

"Ojos' filly is buddied up with another filly of the same age and they are both being tended to by a mare who lost her foal early," the farm posted on its Facebook page. "She is a wonderful sitter for the two of them. We are keeping close tabs on her."

According Stonestreet, the next update on Rachel Alexandra’s recovery will be issued on March 7, barring any major changes in her condition.