US 2009 Horse of the year Rachel Alexandra will not be put in foal this year, according to owner Stonestreet Farm.
Rachel Alexandra, who has suffered from major complications after having both of her foals, in 2012 and 2013, spent five weeks at Rood and Riddle Hospital after her latest foal, a filly by Bernardini. She first had surgery in February 2013, when a section of her small colon was repaired following a foaling injury. Only a short time after an abscess adjacent to her reproductive tract was found and drained.
During her racing career Rachel Alexandra won 13 races and more than $3 million. She won the Group One Kentucky Oaks, and the Preakness Stakes.
Stonestreet Farm told US racing news service The Paulick Report there was “no timetable for a decision” about whether the eight-year-old mare would be bred in the future.
In 2012, following the birth of her Curlin colt, Jess’s Dream, Rachel Alexandra was also hospitalised at Rood & Riddle.
In March 2013 animal welfare group PETA wrote to Rachel Alexandra’s owner Barbara Banke, asking her to consider retiring her from life as a broodmare. “She was hospitalized for pain following the birth of Jess’s Dream, her first foal, and had to have large parts of her intestines removed just last month. Such complications can be life-threatening, and many prize-winning horses — including Lady’s Secret, Meadow Star, Typhoon Tracy, and Urban Sea — have died after giving birth”, the letter said.
“Surely, after earning more than $3 million for Stonestreet Farm, Rachel Alexandra deserves to live a long, peaceful life free of the risk of more frightening injuries,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo.
Rachel Alexandra’s three-year-old full sister, Samantha Nicole, is to make her first start today in a maiden race at Florida’s Fair Grounds track.