07/27/2013 9:39AM

St Nicholas Abbey making progress following colic surgery


Multiple Grade/Group 1 winner St Nicholas Abbey showed positive signs in his initial stages of recovery on Saturday following emergency colic surgery the day before at Fethard Equine Hospital in Ireland, according to information released by Coolmore Stud via Twitter.

The farm said the colic was caused by a “shutdown” of the cecum, a sock-shaped pouch where the large and small intestines connect, which ferments feed and absorbs water. Cecal impaction is sometimes associated with hospitalized horses, according to The Merck Veterinary Manual.

Coolmore tweeted, “His treatment means he cannot have food for a prolonged period – this is difficult for a horse like St Nicholas Abbey who loves his food! He will get parenteral [intravenous] nutrition instead to fulfill his daily requirements.”

Dr. Nathan Slovis, a specialist with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky., arrived in Ireland Saturday to oversee the horse’s recovery and treatments for colic, Coolmore tweeted.

The 6-year-old St Nicholas Abbey, winner of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf and five Group 1 races, was retired on Tuesday after fracturing a pastern while training with Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle in preparation for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. That life-threatening injury required extensive surgery on Wednesday to fuse the pastern.

Coolmore tweeted on Saturday that “all surgeons are pleased with the progress he is making with his pastern reconstruction and he is taking weight on the leg well.”