The Thoroughbred Recovery

A foal's road to recovery after birth


Photo by Hillary Ocampo

Video by Hillary Ocampo

Hillary Ocampo, Staff Reporter

We all know about horse racing, as many have been to Keeneland as well as other races to see thoroughbreds and bet. But not everyone looks behind to wonder about them when they are young and just taking their first steps into the world. My family is in the thoroughbred business where we breed, foal, raise, and train. Every year varies, but this year we foaled 56 mares and most go smoothly, although some have birth complications such as this year with the baby of “Goldencents” and “Boom Boom Dynamite.”

After birth, we had a veterinarian come over to evaluate the foal and she found he had four broken ribs above his heart, which could have been fatal. He was taken to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, where they performed an ultrasound to see how badly the ribs were broken and proceeded with surgery. They inserted a metal plate on the ribs to stabilize them, and he had to stay in the hospital for four days. He was on oral antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling, as well as pain medication.

He was soon able to come back home, but had to stay in a small with the mare for two weeks to continue healing, and after the two weeks passed, a veterinarian came over again to do another evaluation and found he was ready to continue like normal with all the other mares and their babies. He was able to go outside for the first time into a small round-pen and just wanted to play. He soon adapted to the outdoors and was turned out with all the other horses and able to play with them, being 100% better.