St. Nicholas Abbey



  • louisecastello - I agree that the cost would be way more than the average person could ever afford. That being said, there are people that have that kind of money and there are horses that have won a lot of money for their owners/connections and then there is the potential money to be made from stud fees from a stallion like SNA. I would mention also that I am quite sure that most of these horses have health insurance policies which cover a lot of the expense. A friend of mine has health insurance on both of her horses and it has paid for treatment that could only be handled at equine hospital.
    The other thing to consider is that there are owners that genuinely love their horses and will, if they can afford to do so, give them every chance to recover. Barbaro, Paynter and Rachel Alexandra are of course examples of having such devoted owners.
    What is learned from the attempts to save a horse from such devastating illnesses and accidents is valuable knowledge that can be passed on that will help the next horse faced with such a crisis. The knowledge also spreads out into the general equine vet schools and to local vets.
    I saw a picture this week of a Make a Wish Foundation child petting Rachel. Tears filled my eyes when I saw the picture of this tiny little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, standing on tippy toes to pet Rachel, who had dropped her head down to the little child. And while "fight like a girl" is a slogan for breast cancer, that was the first thought that came in mind. Here is a tiny little girl and a 16H plus Thoroughbred mare, both of whom "fight like a girl".
    Some years ago after Katrina, a little Appaloosa POA was found trapped in a barn and had been without food and water for days. The POA was taken to a shelter and was mauled by some dogs. The POA was lost its leg and was fitted with a prosthesis and went on to tour the country as an inspiration to veterans who had lost a limb and people and children who had lost limbs to disease.

    As I understand it, a vet from Penn State who worked with Barbaro went over to consult on SNA's case. No doubt Paynter and Rachel and other horses have benefitted from what was learned about laminitis that ultimately took Barbaro's life. And no doubt what was learned from Rachel's surgery will benefit colic surgeries for all horses.

    Its called paying it forward.
  • Good post with some excellent points, LyndaK.
  • Yes, LyndaK, very good post and I totally agree that the people who have these great racehorses and have won a lot of money on them, definitely can afford it and should try. I also love how Ruffian's breakdown and injury after surgery, had a lot to do with the pools they put the horses in during recovery now. So, yes, a lot is learned every time they try to save these horses. I just meant the average person who has horses for riding, etc. probably couldn't afford that kind of care, though many probably would try. I would. I have always had big dogs and have gone through surgeries with some of them, but I understood when I got them that I may have to spend a lot of money to keep them healthy and I willingly do that. I would try anything I could to save them and give them a good life.
  • Saginaw comes to mind :(
  • Unfortunately, unless they have insurance, I can't see how the average person could try to save a horse with a catastrophic injury or illness, although most would love to save the animal. Am glad that those who do have the money have tried, and some have succeeded, i.e., Paynter, Rachel Alexandra, and St. Nicholas Abbey, although he really isn't out of the woods yet. Every time I think of Barbaro's death, I remember how much they learned from his long ordeal. And I'm grateful that he didn't die in vain.
  • I have been thinking along these lines as well. They didn't die in vain. But, I keep thinking about the other side of the coin....the "little" guy who can't afford $100,000, or so, for specialized equine medical care (consider marcinsac's low level claimers, or pets, or any other "odinary" animal). Medical science is always improving (hopefully). How many of us remember a man named Louis Washkansky? How about Christiaan Barnard? Since December of 1967 heart transplants and open-heart surgeries have become commplace; I have a first cousin who's son had a heart transplant as a teenager, and he is not rich, famous, or Baffert. Veterinary researchers and practicing vets are just as dedicated to their cause as are human researchers. Some of these extraordinary measures taken with our outstanding equine heros will eventually not become extraordinary, and available to more, and more reasonably. When I have to take my dogs to the vet, I am sometimes just amazed at treatments available for conditions that were considered untreatable, or fatal.
  • It's worth noting that insurance is almost impossible to get on a race horse. Most insurers simply won't write policies for them. When insurance is available, it is very expensive and only covers illness and accidents not incurred on the track. Here's an article on the subject. It mentions that even though Barbaro had insurance, his injury wasn't covered and the Jacksons had to pay for his treatment out of their own pockets.
  • I cannot even begin to imagine how much all this must cost. I am so glad they are trying to save him, but I can understand how some people would not possibly be able to afford this kind of care. I would hope, if I had a horse, I would be prepared for this sort of cost; however, I imagine many people would never be able to do this. Power Up Nicky!
    Luckily, this horse made the owners some money. Happily, he has owners that love him and think he's worth saving. Not everyone is able to do that. The only choice lots of owners have is to have the animal euthanized. No guarantee he will be able to breed!
  • St. Nicholas Abbey Suffers Setback:( Power Up St. Nick
  • St. Nicholas Abbey Suffers Setback:( Power Up St. Nick
    Barbaro all over again.

  • We need to remain optimistic and hopeful. There have been some advances in the treatments since Barbaro.
  • Perhaps they are using the cooling treatment that was used on Paynter when he was suffering from laminitis. Probably that is why they are communicating closely with New Bolten...wasn't that where Paynter was treated at? I'm not sure.
  • St. Nicholas Abbey Suffers Setback:( Power Up St. Nick
    Barbaro all over again.

    Its not Barbaro all over again. This horse is in good spirits, is putting weight on all four legs, has a great appetite and its only in his left foreleg, its mild. Barbaro had it bad and progressed fast.

  • St. Nicholas Abbey Suffers Setback:( Power Up St. Nick
    Barbaro all over again.

    Its not Barbaro all over again. This horse is in good spirits, is putting weight on all four legs, has a great appetite and its only in his left foreleg, its mild. Barbaro had it bad and progressed fast.

    What I remember Barbaro started mildly on the other leg. Then it progressed to all four. I'm hoping and praying Nick has a full recovery. He's a figher and is receiving the best care possible.

  • I found this article and wanted to share. I wonder if Nick's vets are using it. Do you think they are Rachel?
  • Stem cell therapy works, Thorn Song is testament to that. Hes now a breeding stallion with foals on the ground this year
  • Stem cell therapy works, Thorn Song is testament to that. Hes now a breeding stallion with foals on the ground this year
    For founder/laminitis?

  • edited October 2013
    I remember Barbaro at the end would face into the corner and quit responding to people. So, hopefully, St. Nick is doing better than that. Also, they did stem cell therapy on DynaKing sponsored by Three Chimneys and it did work for about 6 months, but I believe his was too far gone. I'm praying for St. Nicholas Abbey. Oh, I hate laminitis! Power up Nick!!!!!!!!!
  • Oh, Nicky....praying for you dude. PU Nick!
  • Coolmore Update ‎Wednesday, ‎October ‎23, ‎2013
    St Nicholas Abbey has suffered a setback over the last 24 hours having developed mild laminitic changes in the left fore. This is disappointing as he is now weight bearing and walking well on the operated (fractured) leg which has healed amazingly well to date. Although laminitis could be a life threatening complication we are hoping the condition will stabilize. Obviously the next weeks are critical in his recovery but St Nicholas Abbey remains comfortable with a good appetite & incredible attitude.
  • I remember Barbaro's struggles very well. I was glued to the internet and read everything I could find on his condition. Hopefully, like others said, progress has been made in treating this injury and St. Nick will be returned to good health. He is a fighter and has the best possible care. I just don't want him to suffer.
  • There is the new drug and they have reverted back to the way laminitis was treated when I was a child by the old country vets, which is cooling the hoof to keep the inflammation down and there are special shoes that can be put on that takes the weight off the laminae. Check out this web site for the work that Dr Andrea Floyd has been doing for at least 20 years.

    There is hope for SNA.
    I think Paynter's vets were proactive and started using the cooling boots early so as to avoid potential laminitis.

    Get well SNA, I am praying for you.
  • Thinking of SNA, and hoping that he beats the laminitis. Remembering Barbaro and his courageous fight for life, and praying that SNA recovers completely. Lighting a candle for him.
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