03/26/2013 9:06PM

Rachel Alexandra returns home to Stonestreet

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Barbara D. Livingston
Champion Rachel Alexandra returned to Stonestreet Farm on Tuesday after spending nearly six weeks at Rood and Riddle Hospital in Lexington while recovering from abdominal surgery.

Nearly six weeks after undergoing abdominal surgery following foaling complications, 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra returned home to Stonestreet Farm in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday to continue her recovery. 

The 7-year-old Medaglia d'Oro mare has been at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington since Feb. 13, where she was rushed after displaying signs of distress after delivering her second foal, a Bernardini filly, early on Feb. 12.

Stonestreet employees and Rood and Riddle medical technicians will continue to monitor Rachel Alexandra around the clock as she continues her recovery at Stonestreet, and Dr. Bonnie Barr, an attending veterinarian on the case, will make daily visits to the farm to check her progress.

“This time of transition is a big step, as well as an added stress in her recovery from a very serious, life-threatening condition," Barr said. "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."

Stonestreet employees decorated the mare's stall with get-well cards sent by fans prior to her arrival on Tuesday, as well as a get-well banner signed by fans at Fair Grounds Race Course, where the mare won the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks during her championship campaign in 2009.

“Having Rachel home is a milestone in her recovery," owner Barbara Banke said. "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. I am deeply grateful to [attending veterinarians Drs. Brett Woodie, Barr, and Steve Reed] and the entire Rood and 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 [public relations and marketing specialist] Alex Riddle for keeping Rachel’s fans updated on her progress.”

Rachel Alexandra had been walking and hand-grazing several times a day at Rood and Riddle, and will continue to be hand-grazed during her first days home at Stonestreet. She will then be transitioned to a small, temporary round pen the size of her stall. As the mare becomes comfortable with her surroundings, the size of the pen will gradually be increased, followed ultimately by transition into a paddock.

Rachel Alexandra began showing signs of distress on the afternoon of Feb. 13 after delivering her Bernardini filly on Feb. 12 at Stonestreet. 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 weeks, the mare suffered one setback when she underwent a procedure on March 7 to drain an abscess that developed adjacent to her reproductive tract and rectum. The abscess was successfully drained via a standing surgical procedure, with the mare's vitals remaining normal throughout.

Rachel Alexandra's Bernardini filly returned to Stonestreet the night of her dam's surgery and has been reported in good health. The filly is being raised by nurse mare Miss Beutiful Ojos, a Quarter Horse, and will remain with that mare until she is weaned.

Rachel Alexandra was raised by a nurse mare after her own dam, Lotta Kim, rejected her as a foal.

Lise McLain More than 1 year ago
Hi! So happy to read that Rachel Alexandra is back home. As a fan, I absolutely love her and love to read about her recovery. Thanking the owner, Barbara, for allowing us, the fans, to be involved in her recovery by providing updated information on Rachel's recovery. Hopefully, we will continue to have updates and eventually see videos of Rachel. God love her. Lise from Maine
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Home Sweet (sreet) Home :) I appreciate all the updates, and wish there were more.. Good Luck, Beautiful One :)
tweetypie54 More than 1 year ago
so glad Rachel is doing good & is back home she is a great horse and deserves the best. we love you Rachel !!
prose More than 1 year ago
I disagree, Tex. She suffered no major complications from her first foal, and she was given prompt treatment for this condition. She gets better medical care than most human beings in this county. If she is capable of carrying a fetus to term, then she should continue to be bred and hopefully produce a superstar which this game so dearly needs.
Tex Renegade More than 1 year ago
She has had two foals that have led to complications...that's enough to suggest that this great race horse should be allowed to live out her life in peace, without risking her demise by breeding her again!
Francine Ferland More than 1 year ago
Hi everyone, so glad to see Rachel return home.......would love to see pictures of her filly.......she is Rachel filly no matter what........I know Rachel will go through all the process of her recovery.......with success and class as she always done in the past.....Love that mare so much...
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Hi Francine, DRF did post a picture of Mom and foal, also, I think the Great Barbara Livingston had photos, too, in her Blogs, prob the best that DRF has to offer :)
Constance Gonczy More than 1 year ago
After fully healing, the owners should offer her to Kentucky Horse Park for her retirement and for her fans to see her. C'mon Stonestreet!
JanCatalona More than 1 year ago
It would be very tempting to breed her again, but I hope the owner takes the safe, cautious approach. She's given so much. Please don't risk it.
deborah More than 1 year ago
if the vets clear her, i see no reason to stop breeding her. she's a horse who definitely deserves a shot, if healthy enough, to help the gene pool.
Gunner More than 1 year ago
Ain't nature wonderful! Good luck Rachel (you always were a fighter, It only hurts when I laugh:)
Mary Anne Tobin More than 1 year ago
My current vehicle Ford F250 is named Rachel Alexander. Other vehicles I have owned Something Royal, Genuine Regret (named after 2 filly derby winners), Genuine Regret the Second, Susans Girl, Pearl Necklace, Moms Command, Black Tonie. Also had a customized blue van that cannot remember name of, but he won the derby for Col Bradlee. I love the ponies!
Phil Bumgardner More than 1 year ago
Geniune Risk.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Not sure what you mean, he/she dedicated their trucks, the two after BOTH fillies, Genuine Risk (Jennie) and from long ago, The GREAT jersey bred, Regret!