Get the latest news on Stonestreet breeding and sales along with updates on Stonestreet runners from the track.
May 3, 2013: Louisville, KY
Lauren Jones of WAVE 3, Louisville’s NBC local affiliate, visits Rachel at Stonestreet and offers an update on her return home after surgery. Please click here for the link the segment.
April 16, 2013: Lexington, KY
Rachel Alexandra took another step in her recovery on April 16th at Stonestreet when she enjoyed her liberty in a paddock for two hours. Her time in the paddock will gradually increase each day.
April 5, 2013:Lexington, KY
Rachel Alexandra continues to recover well at home and may transition to a regular round pen next week. For now, Rachel spends most of her day in a smaller, temporary enclosure, where she seems energized by Lexington’s spring weather and the sunshine on her back.
March 26, 2013:Lexington, KY
Rachel Alexandra is home at Stonestreet today, beginning the next stage of her remarkable recuperation following abdominal surgery in mid-February.
Stonestreet employees decorated her stall with cards from fans as they awaited her arrival; a get-well banner from Fair Grounds Racecourse stretched across the barn, ready to welcome the hard-fighting champion home.
“Having Rachel home is a milestone in her recovery. 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,” said Barbara Banke, “I am deeply grateful to Drs. Woodie, Barr, Reed and the entire Rood & 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 Alex Riddle for keeping Rachel’s fans updated on her progress.”
Stonestreet’s team and Rood & Riddle medical technicians will join to monitor Rachel around the clock while Dr. Bonnie Barr checks her progress with daily visits to the farm.
“This time of transition is a big step, as well as an added stress in her recovery from a very serious, life-threatening condition. 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,” said Dr. Barr.
Rachel’s first few days at home will focus on ensuring she is comfortable in her surroundings through hand grazing. She will then transition to a small, temporary round pen the size of her stall. As Rachel becomes comfortable and her team feels satisfied with her progress, panels will be inserted to gradually extend that round pen.
These slow, deliberate, day-to-day steps are designed to evolve into turnout in a regularly sized round pen followed ultimately by transition to a small paddock. While this process could take as little as a couple of weeks, Rachel and her team will set a cautious pace.
Please check this page for weekly updates on Rachel’s progress at home.
March 18, 2013: Lexington, KY
Veterinarians monitoring Rachel Alexandra’s recovery at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital report the abscess drained on March 7th, continues to respond well to treatment.
Rachel’s appetite is strong and the Rood & Riddle team noted an increase in “feisty” behavior during her walks last week.
Look for the next update on Tuesday, March 26th barring any change in her condition.
March 11, 2013: Lexington, KY
Rachel Alexandra is healing well following a surgical procedure performed Thursday, March 7th to drain an abscess that developed adjacent to her reproductive tract and rectum.
Veterinarians at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital are pleased that her appetite is ‘even more voracious’ to start the week, and her attitude and vital signs remain normal.
This Wednesday marks one month since the 2009 Horse of the Year underwent abdominal surgery to remove a damaged section of colon following the birth of her filly by Bernardini on February 12th.
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 remains under close observation at Rood & Riddle. We will provide the next update on her progress one week from today, March 18th, barring any change in her condition.
March 7, 2013: Lexington, KY:
Rachel Alexandra underwent a surgical procedure at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital this afternoon to drain an abscess discovered this morning. Though her road toward recovery remains remarkable following abdominal surgery performed on February 13th, this is an important reminder that challenges remain.
“As part of the continuous evaluation and monitoring that Rachel is receiving at Rood & Riddle, an abscess adjacent to her reproductive tract and rectum was found this morning,” said Dr. Brett Woodie.
Rood & Riddle reported the abscess was drained successfully via a standing surgical procedure, throughout which Rachel’s vital signs remained normal. She was also bright and alert with a good appetite following this procedure and was even able to graze this afternoon.
While this type of hurdle is not unexpected, Rachel will remain at Rood & Riddle for continuous observation as she continues down what has been called “a long road” toward recovery.
Another update on her condition can be expected on Monday, March 11th unless a change in her condition were to occur sooner.
February 28, 2013: Lexington, KY:
Veterinarians at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY remain pleased with Rachel Alexandra’s progress following abdominal surgery resulting from foaling complications in mid-February.
Dr. Brett Woodie, who performed the surgery, calls her recovery “better than expected.”
As updated over the weekend, Rachel’s appetite was good enough that she was taken off IV fluids and nutrition on Saturday. She continues to hand walk and graze several times a day and her vitals are normal and her trademark spirit has returned, including a nip here and there.
Dr. Bonnie Barr often credits her progress to the champion mare’s strong will and intelligence, noting that Rachel “let’s us take care of her”. For much of her day, that is Medicine Technician Brent Comer, who grooms and keeps Rachel company each day. The two have become fast friends, with Brent providing ear massages and a full buffet of treats.
We continue to hope for steady, uneventful, daily progress. Please look for the next update one week from today, on March 7th, unless a change in her condition occurs.
February 23, 2013: Lexington, KY
Veterinarians at Rood & Riddle are encouraged by Rachel Alexandra’s progress as she recovers from abdominal surgery. Her appetite has improved so that, on Saturday, she was taken off of IV fluids and nutrition.
Dr. Brett Woodie said, “I couldn’t be happier with where she is right now.”
As her vital signs remain normal and her strength improves, Rachel has gone for longer walks each day and has enjoyed grazing and spending time outside.
Attending veterinarians, Drs Bonnie Barr and Brett Woodie, caution that Rachel has hurdles yet to overcome, but they are pleased by her progress.
Fair Grounds fans are signing a ‘get-well’ banner for Rachel as they celebrate her career with the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, just one example of the outpouring of support from the industry and fans for the champion mare.
Provided her condition remains stable, look for the next update on Thursday, February 28th. We all look forward to a ‘no news is good news’ week.
February 20, 2013: Lexington, KY
Rachel Alexandra continues to face her recovery from abdominal surgery as a result of foaling complications with the same courage and determination that made her a champion on the track.
Her attending veterinarians at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Dr. Brett Woodie and Dr. Bonnie Barr are pleased with her progress, which has included several short walks a day and an improved appetite this week.
As her diet becomes more normal, Dr. Woodie is encouraged that her gastro-intestinal function is improving, as well as her ‘feisty’ attitude.
Her medical team completed the course of post-surgery abdominal lavages on Tuesday and the two drains placed in her abdomen were removed.
While the road towards recovery remains long with many hurdles to overcome, Stonestreet’s Barbara Banke and Rachel’s team at Rood & Riddle are both inspired by her strength and happy with her progress in the week following surgery.
Following the ‘no news is good news’ theme, please expect the next official update on her condition on Saturday, February 23rd unless her condition changes.
February 18, 2013: Lexington, KY
Doctors at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky reported on Monday that 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra’s condition remains serious but stable as she recovers from abdominal surgery performed Wednesday, February 13th following foaling complications.
“If she wasn’t as smart and as strong-willed as she is,” said Dr. Bonnie Barr, “she wouldn’t be progressing the way she is.”
This morning Rachel was able to go for a short walk outside, during which time she ate a small amount of grass. She remains bright with normal vital signs. On Saturday, a small amount of feed was introduced in addition to her IV fluids and nutrition. Her appetite continues to improve and attending veterinarians, Dr. Bonnie Barr and Dr. Brett Woodie, remained encouraged by her progress through the weekend.
Please look for the next update on her condition Wednesday unless a change should occur.
Her new, brighter stall is lucky #13, just like the Preakness post position from which she also defied the odds.
February 16, 2013: Lexington, KY
Doctors at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky reported on Saturday that Rachel Alexandra’s condition remains serious but stable as she recovers from abdominal surgry performed Wednesday, February 13th following foaling complictions.
The 2009 Horse of the Year remains bright and alert with normal vital signs. On Saturday, she began receiving a very small amount of feed in addition to her IV fluids and nutrition. Although Rachel’s condition remains serious, attending veterinarians Dr. Bonnie Barr and Dr. Brett Woodie are encouraged by her progress to this point.
Rachel continues to be monitored closely at Rood & Riddle. If her condition should change, we will provide a timely update, otherwise, look for the next update on Monday. We continue to be deeply grateful for the support and comfort her fans have provided during this difficult time.
February 16, 2013: Lexington, KY
Nurse mares are never brought into situations that are ideal. They must act as a surrogate mother for a foal whose own mother is unable to care for it.
In fact, a nurse mare raised Rachel Alexandra when her dam, Lotta Kim, rejected her.
Rachel’s attachment to her own filly in the short time they were together, was deep and it is important now to support her surrogate, Miss Beutiful Ojos, as she steps into this difficult situation to raise that filly.
We have received many very natural questions about this process:
Who is the nurse mare?
Miss Beutiful Ojos is a quarter horse and trusted nurse mare who has performed this important job at Stonestreet before. Nurse mares are often quarter or draft horses, and it is imperative that they possess good nurse mare characteristics. Miss Beutiful Ojos, or “Ojos” for short, is both very sweet and a great milk producer, two of the most important nurse mare qualities.
In those difficult situations in which we have to call in a nurse mare, Stonestreet draws upon a very select network of farms we trust to provide well-tempered and disease-free mares, while ensuring proper care for the nurse mare’s foal as well.
If Rachel recovers, will her foal be returned to her?
No. Rachel’s filly has bonded with Ojos, and she now considers Ojos to be her mother. She will remain with her until she is weaned. It is important to respect the bond now created between Rachel’s filly and her surrogate.
Rachel’s condition remains serious and she will need her strength as she fights to recover. Even if she were able to return to her foal, her milk production would have ceased. It is again, not an ideal situation, but keep in mind Rachel was raised by a surrogate as well.
What will happen to the nurse mare’s foal?
Ojos is what you might call a “professional” nurse mare. She is very good at her job and provides an important service under very difficult circumstances.
In this situation the timing worked out well. Ojos had foaled a palomino filly on Wednesday. Rachel’s filly was hand fed until Ojos arrived on Thursday, only after her own palomino filly was able to get the ‘first milk’, or all-important colostrum from her own mother. This is something Ojos’ owner is very firm about.
We visited Ojos’ filly on Friday afternoon. She is being hand raised along with another foal whose mother is also a nurse mare. This little filly will be bottle, then bucket fed along with her stall mate. They are both nicely bred quarter horse foals and she is expected to be a reining or cutting prospect.
For more information we recommend:
February 15, 2013: Lexington, KY
Rachel Alexandra’s condition remained serious at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on Friday following surgery to repair a section of her small colon. The attending veterinarians on her case, Dr. Bonnie Barr and Dr. Brett Woodie, are pleased with her progress, with Dr. Barr calling her a “strong mare”. Her vital signs remain normal and she was brighter, more alert and demonstrating an improved attitude on Friday afternoon.
“She looks better today,” said owner Barbara Banke. “ Rachel is a determined fighter. It makes me feel better that she was happy to have a mint. I want to thank all her fans for their incredible devotion to Rachel. Your thoughts mean so much right now.”
Rachel’s foal continues to do well. She has adjusted well to her nurse mare and enjoyed paddock turnout on Friday at Stonestreet.
Rachel Alexandra was admitted into Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on Wednesday, February 13th, one day after delivering a 140-pound Bernardini filly. She underwent exploratory abdominal surgery to determine the cause of excess fluid in her abdominal cavity denoting an infection. A damaged section of her small colon was then repaired in a long and technically demanding procedure.
February 14, 2013: Lexington KY
After foaling Rachel Alexandra was closely monitored by Stonestreet Farm employees as well as Rood & Riddle veterinarians. On Wednesday afternoon around 2:30 a change in her demeanor was noted and she was immediately rushed to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital to undergo exploratory abdominal surgery to determine the cause of excess fluid in her abdominal cavity denoting an infection.
Surgery identified that the cause of the infection was a section of the small colon that had lost its blood supply due to an injury during foaling causing bacteria to be released into the abdomen. The damaged section of intestine was removed and extensive abdominal lavage was performed to remove inflammatory cells and bacteria. Due to the nature and the extent of the problem the surgery was long and technically demanding but recovery from anesthesia was uncomplicated.
Rachel Alexandra is currently receiving IV antibiotics, IV fluids, anti-inflammatory agents, IV nutrition and medications to counteract the effects of bacterial toxins. Medications are also being administered to aid in the prevention of scar tissue in the abdominal cavity. A standing abdominal lavage utilizing abdominal drains placed at surgery is also being performed several times a day.
Her condition is very serious but it is too early to give an accurate prognosis.
Dr. Brett Woodie (the attending surgeon on the case) said in his press conference this afternoon that she is doing “the best that can be expected”
Feb. 13, 2013: Lexington, KY
Stonestreet Farm shared earlier tonight via social media that Rachel Alexandra, 2009 Horse of the Year, was taken to Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky late Wednesday when complications developed related to the birth of her Bernardini filly.
Rachel Alexandra underwent surgery to repair an area of bruising in her small colon, which was injured during foaling. Dr. Brett Woodie performed the surgery and Rachel is currently in recovery under the watch of Dr. Bonnie Barr. A full prognosis cannot be determined at this time, but her condition is serious.
“We are solely focused on making sure Rachel is as comfortable as possible. She is showing the same strength and courage now that she demonstrated on the track,” said owner, Barbara Banke. “Our hearts are broken by this turn of events and I can only ask that you send your thoughts and prayers to Rachel now.”
Rachel Alexandra’s 140-pound filly, born Feb. 12, 2013 at 2:30 a.m. is healthy. The filly has returned to Stonestreet Farm and will be tended by a nurse mare.
Media requests relating to the procedure should be directed to Alex Riddle Media Relations Manager at Rood & Riddle at email@example.com. General media inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.