It is with a great deal of heartbreak and sadness, that I report Sailor has suffered a career-ending injury at the tender age of 6 years old.
This year (January - March) I did not send him to Florida as he had a good book of mares and he could be worked gently in the off season with the reputable staff staying behind at the training barn. He performed his breeding duties well and we are expecting another great crop of foals for 2009.
In April during training to leg him up for the season we noticed something very slight but unsure of what could have been bothering him, he was xrayed - a slight fracture to the coffin bone was noted and he remained on stall rest for 8 weeks - subsequent xrays showed absolutely no sign of a fracture and he was given the green light for light work, increasing weekly. Two weeks into his work, the 'lameness' was noticed again - not severe but something wasn't right. Not wanting to take any more chances, I sent him for an MRI and the results were devastating. While we are unsure of how the injury has occurred it has been diagnosed as a severe blunt trauma to the sole of his foot causing irreversible damage to the navicular and collateral ligament. It is quoted in the report as" ...severe concussion such as that of landing on a hard rock after a jump..." I'll never know.
He has been at our trainers since the Cup classes at the ROYAL in 2005, and has been training very well undersaddle, showing great form over fences and showed last year in the Baby Greens. He was also recently assessed by one of Canada's best dressage riders as an excellent candidate for dressage and so we had planned to take him in that direction for a year giving him a great dressage/equitation foundation for his future career. Not to be.
Having sold all of the Sailor offspring I bred myself, I will breed my mares to him this upcoming season and will keep his final book open for 2009 and then he will be gelded and brought home to retire in green pastures at Fieldstone Farm.
Sailor's eldest foals are 2 years old right now, and the ones I have seen so far that have been started undersaddle are incredible movers, with lovely temperaments...shining stars. I wish for continued success for all of his offspring and thank the mare owners who saw the potential in this beautiful boy. I will watch with great anticipation as his foals grow older and make their owners proud.
While I'm certainly devastated with the news, I've had my share of ups and downs, and understand that these creatures can be so fragile - but I'm grateful and thankful that I still have him (that's the glass is half full part of me speaking). His orthopedic vets are very optimistic that with shock wave therapy we can make him very comfortably pasture sound and who knows, perhaps sound enough for the occasional hack with his ever-loving owner.
Thank you again for supporting us through the journey.
And I agree with Tri....you never know! Our stallion lives happily with his prego turn out buddy and is totally enjoying life without 'clipping his wings'. His foals are some of the best movers I've ever had!
I am very sorry to hear this. He is one of the few that I was keeping and eye on, just reaching the age where you can really start to see how he would develop (particularly with that late-maturing sire line of his!). Nice to see that he has such a wonderful owner