02/23/2013 5:29PM

Rachel Alexandra's veterinarians "couldn't be happier" with progress

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Rachel Alexandra walks outside at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital Feb. 22, accompanied by Rood and Riddle's Brent Comer and owner Barbara Banke. The mare has made positive progress in the last week as she recovers from surgery for foaling complications.
Courtesy Stonestreet Farm

Rachel Alexandra, who earned Horse of the Year honors for her historic 2009 campaign, continues to make positive progress in her recovery from surgery related to foaling complications at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

"I couldn’t be happier with where she is right now," Dr. Brett Woodie, an attending veterinarian on the case, said.

Owner Stonestreet Farm issued a release Saturday afternoon stating that Rachel Alexandra has been taken off intravenous fluids and nutrition. The 7-year-old Medaglia d'Oro mare began receiving small amounts of solid food on the third full day following her Feb. 13 surgery, and her appetite has improved throughout the week. 

Rachel Alexandra's vital signs remain normal, and, as the mare regains her strength, she has been spending increasing amounts of time walking outside and hand-grazing at Rood and Riddle.

According to the release, both Woodie and internal medicine specialist Dr. Bonnie Barr remain cautious about Rachel’s recovery but are pleased with her progress this week.

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 Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet in Lexington. 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.