03/11/2013 7:22PM

Rachel Alexandra recovering well from procedure to drain abscess

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Nearly one month following abdominal surgery for foaling complications, 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra continues a steady recovery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., despite a bump in her progress last week.

The 7-year-old Medaglia d'Oro mare is recovering well from a surgical procedure performed Thursday, March 7, to drain an abscess that developed adjacent to her reproductive tract and abdomen. The abscess was successfully drained via a standing surgical procedure, and the mare displayed a good appetite and was able to graze outdoors that afternoon.

On Monday, veterinarians at Rood and Riddle reported that the Rachel Alexandra's appetite is “even more voracious.” The mare's attitude and vital signs remain normal.

Owner Stonestreet Farm issued a release on Monday which stated, “Though Rachel continues to make remarkable progress on what has been called a ‘long road’ toward recovery, last week’s procedure was a reminder of the many hurdles she can face along the way.”

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. In the ensuing month, the mare has made steady progress, with veterinarians commenting on her good attitude and strong will.