08/28/2013 10:49AM

St Nicholas Abbey suffers setback in recovery

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Tom Keyser
St Nicholas Abbey suffered a setback in his recovery from a career-ending injury on Monday when a weight-bearing pin supporting his cannon bone was removed.

Multiple Grade/Group 1 winner St Nicholas Abbey, who suffered a life-threatening injury in training and then underwent colic surgery last month, faced what has been deemed a “major complication” in his recovery on Monday evening.

The 6-year-old Montjeu horse, residing at Fethard Equine Hospital in Co. Tipperary, Ireland, since fracturing his right front pastern on July 23, appeared uncomfortable on Monday. Radiographs showed that a weight-bearing steel pin in his cannon bone had broken. Surgeons elected to remove the pin and re-cast the leg, meaning St Nicholas Abbey is now bearing weight on the injured limb without that assistance.

“This development has come sooner than we would have ideally liked, so the next week is a very tentative period for us,” owner Coolmore Stud said in a release. “This morning St Nicholas Abbey is comfortable and is walking as well as can be expected. His temperament and demeanor are a tremendous plus both for him and the team treating him.”

St Nicholas Abbey suffered the injury while training at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle base and underwent surgery at Fethard July 24, with New Bolton Center’s Dr. Dean Richardson, who led the battle to save 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, consulting from the U.S. But two days after the successful surgery, the horse suffered his first major setback when he underwent emergency colic surgery after a shutdown of the cecum.

St Nicholas Abbey, who captured the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, is the only three-time winner of England’s Coronation Cup, and also won the Dubai Sheema Classic and Racing Post Trophy. He ended his career with nine wins from 21 starts and earned $7,863,492.

Rosanne Frieri More than 1 year ago
Hang in there big guy...Prayers are being sent your way. Hopefully, you will make a full recovery and will have a long wonderful life....GOD SPEED!
mark oleary More than 1 year ago
ALL MY HOPES AND WISHES TO THIS NOBLE ANIMAL. iT BREAKS MY HEART WHEN THESE MAJESTIC ANIMALS GO THROUGH SO MUCH TURMOIL. i'VE BEEN IN THE GAME FOR 40 YEARS AND I STILL GET VERY EMOTIONAL WHEN ONE GETS HURT OR WORSE YET, HAS TO BE EUTHANIZED. gOD SPEED TO YOUR RECOVERY!
Jay Romig More than 1 year ago
I retire all my horses and bring them home to our farm, they go through so my unexpected turns in their lives . People don't realize how things befall them just day to day. Anything from colic to lyme disease.
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
always liked him, best hopes and wishs
Jay Romig More than 1 year ago
I wish this big guy God's speed to recover.
nicholas More than 1 year ago
Me too love this horse -- best wishes to all involved
Kevin Mudgett More than 1 year ago
love this horse hope its only a short one
martymar . More than 1 year ago
wishes him the best, terrible to hear about the setback
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Such a excellent animal, Bc turf and sheema winner. Another horse that frankly avoided.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I mean frankl
Jack More than 1 year ago
Frankel smoked him by 7 lengths...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Frankel avoided... "colliding into"... him as he swept past
Jean Mikle More than 1 year ago
How did Frankel "avoid" him when he beat him by more than 7 lengths last August in the Juddmonte International? St. Nic is a very good horse but he was not in Frankel's class. That being said, prayers for St. Nic, a very game and generous horse. He was so game on the racecourse and is now gamely fighting the battle for his life. Hang in there, St. Nic.
Lisa More than 1 year ago
Wish the best for this horse. He is such a trooper.