ST Nicholas Abbey reaches "critical" point....

St Nicholas Abbey Reaches 'Critical' Point

By Blood-Horse Staff

Updated: Thursday, November 28, 2013 1:08 PM
Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 1:03 PM

St Nicholas Abbey has reached a "critical" point in his recovery from laminitis, Coolmore said Nov. 28.

In an update on its website, Coolmore said the 6-year-old horse is comfortable but "is struggling to overcome the laminitis in his left front foot. This is indeed life-threatening and is the single- biggest complication he has faced since his initial life-saving surgery."

Coolmore said the concern is that should the condition progress with further sinking of the pedal bone in St Nicholas Abbey's left front foot, it could go through the sole of his foot.

"In spite of this, St Nicholas Abbey is very comfortable, being just a little ouchy when walking in his first steps and better thereafter," the report said. "His appetite and demeanor remain incredibly good. His intensive veterinary treatment continues and includes maggot therapy for the slight discharge at the toe of the laminitic foot and a daily session on a vibrating plate.

"The next few weeks are critical for St Nicholas Abbey; we are just hoping that he can turn the corner."

St Nicholas Abbey, by Montjeu, fractured his right foreleg while training at Ballydoyle in Ireland July 23, and subsequently underwent surgery. In its most recent report on the horse's condition in late October, Coolmore said St Nicholas Abbey had developed laminitis in his left front foot.

Unplaced in only three of his 21 career starts, St Nicholas Abbey has nine wins, two seconds, and seven third-place finishes to his credit while earning $7,863,492. His victories include the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf, Investec Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (three times), Racing Post Trophy, and Dubai Sheema Classic Presented by Longines, all grade/group I events.



  • I'm sending more lit candles from St. Nicholas Cathedral for "St. Nicholas Abbey".
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  • Power up St. Nicholas Abbey!
  • PU Nikki!
  • carolinarkansascarolinarkansas hot springs, arkansasMember
    I do not like the feeling I get from this post....very concerned ....candles lit...prayers sent
  • Photo posted today of St. Nicholas Abbey. I hate to say it but he doesn't look good at all.
  • Photo posted today of St. Nicholas Abbey. I hate to say it but he doesn't look good at all.
    He looks thin to me but its hard to tell with the blanket on?
  • Poor boy! Praying hard that he overcomes the laminitis.
  • AmandaFAmandaF Member
    edited November 2013
    I think he's really thin and partly that's why the blanket is there. I'm just going by the way it looks on his back. You can see it lays down on his withers good and then after that it looks really bad.
  • I agree, poor boy. I'm hoping and praying hard for him!
  • On the other hand, that's less weight for his laminitic foot to support. Paynter looked awful in his illness, too, and we never saw Rachel Alexandra at her worst because she was always wearing a padded blanket which didn't cling to her body.
  • Good points VA_in_CA! I remember thinking Paynter looked horrible and I heard that Rachel looked bad too. You just hate seeing these regal animals looking so down. It makes me sad, but it is true they probably need a lot less weight right now.
  • Yes, I'm trying to encourage myself with those points. lol
  • That poor creature.... He looks sick as can be! Will he ever get a break?
  • not lookin real promising is it
  • I too am desperately worried about the recovery of this wonderful horse, but just as an FYI, that picture is from back in September (see 9/9/13 Paulick Report) so don't invest too much concern in how he looks.
  • Yeah, he might look worse now. Yoicks.
  • It breaks my heart to read about his latest setback. I also pray he returns to full health.
  • Continuing to send prayers and good wishes for his recovery. Candles lit. Power Up Saint NicholasAbbey!!
  • Barbaro comes to mind. Really hoping that SNA has a better outcome. Hope the newer treatments for laminitis can save more horses in this situation. It's gut-wrenching because we seem to go through it with the horse.
  • Barbaro had laminitis in 3 feet and his 4th was the one that was on the broken leg, so that he literally didn't have a leg to stand on. St. Nick has it only in one foot. It seems that they ought to be able to brace that leg enough to relieve the pressure on the foot. Hope they can get the infection cleared up. How sad that such magnificent creatures should be so fragile, not to mention vulnerable.
  • I thought the same thing slwepy when I read the post. Barbaro did so good, they were talking of sending him home, then bam, he couldn't recover and was in pain from the laminitis..
    I worry about the "slight discharge"coming from the toe of the bad foot doesn't sound good. His pedal bone must have already started turning down since they mentioned if it kept rotating it would go through the sole of his hoof.
    These are not good things to happen....
  • I had a young mare that had the pedal bone rotate . We casted it, etc. She was doing great, thought all was fine and then her entire hoof well separated from her foot. She had to be euthanized.
    The problem I see is the fact that it is only in one hoof now, but if they brace it or he puts too much weight on the other front foot, either because of the brace or the pain,then it could happen in that foot while trying to heal the first foot. That's what happened with Barbaro. It started in the "good" back foot, then because he was putting too much weight on the front feet to get the pain off his back feet, he developed it in the front feet, and like VA said, he did not have a sound food to stand on.
    Laminitis is such a cruel horrible disease.....
  • Yes, it sure sounds cruel and horrible. I guess it's a delicate balancing act to relieve pressure on one foot without increasing it on the others. Whew. If a horse has gimpy legs or feet, is s/he unable to lie down and get up again? What exactly is the pedal bone and how does it connect to the leg bones, etc? How can it rotate if it is connected to other bones?
  • Pedal bone (or Coffin bone) its like the very tip of our finger, imagine that bone going thru the skin and flesh of our finger.

  • this is what laminitis does to a horses Coffin bone

    image if it gets too severe that coffin bone will literally come out of the hoof through the bottom. its extremely painful.
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