Paynter Arrives at Fair Hill Rehab Facility

A light, steady rain fell as the Cooper Horse Transport van pulled up to the barn at Bruce Jackson’s Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center, located a stone’s throw from Graham Motion’s Herringswell Stable barn.

Inside the van, Paynter, wearing a thick green blanket, was getting anxious as preparation for unloading began. From Upstate Equine Medical Center to New Bolton Medical Center, Paynter was about to embark on the next stage of his incredible journey. But this place was different, as he could tell as soon as he walked into the barn and placed in his new stall, one very much like those he remembered from the racetrack -- fellow Thoroughbreds, activity, people dressed like normal racetrack people. Finally, after so many months, a room with a view. Outside the u-shaped barn, which also houses a number of Motion’s horses, was a brightly colored flower garden, around which was a large outdoor walking ring.

Tina Clark of Cooper Horse Transport, owned by Joy and Keith Cooper, said as she watched Paynter settle in, “He really wanted out of his stall at New Bolton. He was ready to get going. On the van he was the perfect gentleman and shipped beautifully. He was more comfortable once he got on the van. He’s thinking, ‘Ah, this is more like it. I don’t feel like something bad is going happen now.’”

As soon as Paynter was put in his stall, he began munching on his straw, occasionally sniffing his neighbor in the stall behind him. He was already becoming a horse again. A mound of hay was then placed in a corner of the stall and he proceeded to wolf it down, rarely picking his head up, except for an occasional mint and a drink of water.

Jackson was elated with everything he saw, and now prepares to begin Paynter’s rehabilitation from his near-death battles with colitis, laminitis, and surgery to remove an abscess from the cecum.

“As far as rehab, we’re just going to let him put on some weight and relax and just be a horse,” said Jackson, a former trainer who built this remarkable facility in 2006, along with his wife Amy, a former jockey. “He just needs to get his strength back and put some weight back on, and get everything behind him. We’ll check his temperature three times a day.

“Over the next month or two there is nothing we’re going to do from a physical standpoint, as far as exercise. But he’ll go out three or four times a day and graze as much as he wants. There will be no significant walking for the next two or three weeks, just walking from his stall to go outside and graze. We just want to let his guts get normal again after the surgery. He’s been through a lot and we just want to put all that behind him.”

Checking in on Paynter was Dr. Charles Arensberg, who is part owner, along with Dr. Kathy Anderson, of Equine Veterinary Care located on the grounds at Fair Hill.

“We’ll let him relax for a while and we’ll weigh him later,” he said. “Louise Southwood (the colitis specialist and surgeon who headed the team that operated on Paynter at New Bolton) will be in contact with us once or twice a day.”

Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center is a state-of-the-art facility that caters to a horse’s every need, from a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber (which Jackson said was a significant investment) to an Aqua Pacer, an above ground underwater treadmill, to a Cold Saltwater Spa, and finally whole body vibration therapy that was adapted from human sports medicine conditioning and rehabilitation.

On the walls of the front barn that houses the Aqua Pacer are name plates of the numerous major horses that have received their rehabilitation at Fair Hill Equine.

Shortly after Paynter’s arrival, the electricity went out all over Fair Hill, giving new meaning to owner Ahmed Zayat’s now-familiar term, “Power up Paynter.”

Ever since Paynter became ill shortly after his rousing victory in the Haskell Invitational, Zayat and his family, especially his son Justin, have been on an emotional roller coaster. On several occasions it appeared as if all hope was gone. No horse could survive what Paynter went through.

Zayat still speaks several times a day with veterinarian Laura Javsicas, whose dedication and determination was so instrumental in saving Paynter’s life while at the Upstate clinic.

“She is so special,” Zayat said. “I remember getting a phone call from Dr. (Mark) Cheney, telling me, ‘We have to talk; he’s doing horrible. His bloodwork is insane, his feet are killing him, he’s not eating.’ Dr. Laura was crying, saying, ‘Let’s try. Give it a little more time.’
“I don’t know how this horse is still alive. I’m elated. I’m in heaven. There were so many peaks and valleys. I’m so grateful, happy, and touched by all the care he’s been given, especially by Dr. Laura, and by all the prayers he has received.
“My kids are begging me to see him, but I’m not ready for them to see him yet. I want him to put on more weight and look like the Paynter they remember. I just do not know how he survived. I can’t explain it. I keep living this whole ordeal it in my dreams. I’ve become so emotionally attached; it’s crazy. It’s like I’m obsessed. I keep asking, ‘How did he survive all these things?”
During Paynter’s battle, his trainer Bob Baffert expressed his feelings: “Paynter has to be the most courageous horse I have ever been around. I don’t know how he’s still alive. Don't give up now big guy.”
Recently, Baffert, who suffered a heart attack shortly after arriving in Dubai, said, “I think he had it tougher than I did when I had my heart attack. The odds were so stacked against him, but he’s beat them time and again. He’s always been a real tough horse. His attitude was tough. He’d run through a wall if he had to or run over top of you, but not in a mean way.

“I really didn’t think he was going to make it. If he had gotten on the plane after the Haskell it would have been disastrous, but we caught the temperature real quick. We both got lucky. We were in the same boat, and the timing saved us. If either of us had gotten sick that on the plane we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
One person who had mixed emotions seeing Paynter leave New Bolton was Dr. Southwood.
“It was sad to see him go, but we’re so glad he was ready to move on.” she said. “He’s such a special horse; it was a privilege to work with a horse like him. He was a great patient and really took good care of himself. He rested when he needed to rest, he had an extremely good appetite, and was an incredible trouper. He’s been through so much and never gave up. Most horses would have stopped eating, but he soldiered on.

“He would get really mad if you didn’t take him for a walk when he wanted to walk. I knew when he came here that Dr. Javsicas had fallen in love with him and it was easy to see why. That’s why it was hard to say goodbye to him. For the past two weeks he’s been a big part of our lives. He was still really sick when he came here, but he showed so much patience; he knew we were trying to help him. He still has weight to gain and it’s going to take a while. You get nervous letting him leave, but he was ready, and it’s reassuring to know he’s going to a good place. I really hope he can come back to the races; that would be awesome.

“If there is one thing we learned about him, regardless of what it might be, if Paynter wants to do something he will do it.”

As I left and took one final look at Paynter, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever see him again, and if so, where and when? In the end, it doesn’t matter. All that does matter is the happy, bright-eyed horse I saw stuffing his mouth with hay, showing not the slightest indication of how sick he was. He’s already won the biggest battle he’ll ever have to face and that’s special enough to last a lifetime.


All photos by Steve Haskin.

Paynter's new home

Paynter arrives all bright-eyed and ready to get off the van.

Led off the van to begin the next stage of his recovery as Bruce Jackson looks on.

Looking sharp

Too hungry to wait for his hay. For now, straw will do.

Didn't take him long to settle in.

Of course, mints are always accepted.

Once the hay was brought out, it was nonstop eating.

Bright-eyed, alert, and happy; not a single sign of the ordeal he went through.

This is what Paynter has to look forward to.

Beautiful outdoor walking ring

Amy Jackson feeds grass to the Zayat-owned Eye on Jacob in round pen.



Leave a Comment:

carol in utah

PUP......he is a living miracle....hope he gains his weight back and then tells everyone what he wants to do...what ever it is ....more power to him

15 Oct 2012 9:20 PM

What an incredible horse! He has so much heart and is one tough dude. I am so impressed with how the Zayat family has handled the ups and downs of his recent ailments. They are proof that most of the folks in racing do it for the love of the equine.

15 Oct 2012 10:01 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Just marvelous. Beautifully written and photographed next chapter in the life of an amazing champion who matches any warrior or adventurer in history in fact or fiction fighting insurmountable odds yet somehow gaining victory. This fight for life is full of heros but especially Dr. Laura and Mr. Zayat who could have easily made a different choice through fear or mercy that could have thwarted the impossible win. Thanks Steve for this poetic picture of what Paynter and others fought so hard for- life and the grandeur of its simple pleasures. Paynter isn't on the track pushing with every ounce of courage and strength for victory over other horses, he is simply relishing having hay, grass and a stall after defeating death. His biggest win he'll ever have.

15 Oct 2012 10:03 PM

Thanks for the report.  I was so fascinated by the details, I forgot that you were the author.  I usually am wrapped up in your style and admiring it.  Not this time--it's all about Paynter.

15 Oct 2012 10:07 PM

I knew if there would be anyone from the Thhroughred journalistic world waiting to welcome Paynter to Fair Hill it would be you, Mr. Haskin. Your love for horses is obvious. All Paynter's fans and others who wished him well are truly celebrating this event. He looks great in the pictures, especially considering all he's been through. Whether he races again or not, he's ALIVE and recuperating and doing well. I wish all horses who are battling illnesses or injuries had this same ending. So much credit goes to Dr. Laura who would not give up on the horse, and to all the folks at New Bolton, to the Zayats and to all those who prayed for his recovery. I hope and pray that Paynter lives a long, happy, healthy life. Thank you too, Mr. Haskin, for keeping us informed on what was going on with Paynter, and thank you for the wonderful photos. Smiles all around!

15 Oct 2012 10:39 PM

Steve- thank you SO much for this uplifting story complete with pictures on a horse who has become a superhero to me.  As a veterinary nurse, I knew the very difficult uphill battle Paynter was facing. He persevered, with the love of his owners, his doctors and their nurses and with the prayers of a nation, no, the world.  He really is a very special horse and I continue to pray that he continue in his remarkable recovery, and if he wants, to be back on the track in 2013!  

15 Oct 2012 10:40 PM
The Deacon

This story just makes my year. A feel good story for the millineum. So much talent with these 3 year olds in March now are left in ruins in October. Algorithms and Creative Cause now retired, ugh.

All retired except Paynter, he is our hope as a 4 year old. What a horse and what a story. There should be a special done on him.

15 Oct 2012 10:46 PM

Thank you so much for this Steve.

Paynter has given us all a lesson in courage and a sharp reminder that miracles of goodness really do happen in this oft tragic world.

And a huge thank you to his owners and to the wonderful veterinarians who were willing to let the colt have a chance to keep fighting.

16 Oct 2012 12:02 AM

Can we legitimately say that Paynter is a unique horse? If not he has fooled a lot of people. In the process he has endeared himself to the racing community at large. That's no small feat, but then this is an exceptional horse. There is a quality in his makeup that differentiates him from others of his breed. He appears to have mastered the art of caring for himself while others with specialty degrees care for him through one crisis after another. The word "quit" is not in his vocabulary whether on the track or as a patient. This appears to be a horse for the ages, one that elevates the sport in his own unique way, one that will be remembered for decades to come.

16 Oct 2012 12:45 AM

What a miracle Paynter is, just to have survived such an ordeal, but even more than that, his wonderful demeanor and charisma really shine through in your fantastic photos, Steve. After such an incredible recovery, it's a gift to see him still looking beautiful and magnificent despite his weakened condition, and in such a perfect place for healing and restoration.

Despite the power of the images, the words of this blog are worth a thousand pictures! What a story, and so vividly brought to life. Many blessings upon Paynter in his continued recovery and upon the Zayat family and the many other people who have helped him along this journey back to health. Thank you again, Steve, for bringing us so close to this amazing inspiration, and thank you, Paynter, for BEING that inspiration!

16 Oct 2012 1:26 AM

I thought for sure Paynter was a goner when he got laminitis in 3 feet AND disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) AT THE SAME TIME. That he survived both of these conditions, either of which is routinely fatal to the poor creature who contracts them, is AMAZING and a MIRACLE!! No bones about it!

16 Oct 2012 1:30 AM

Many people prayed for a miracle for Paynter.  As the days of his remarkable journey unfolded, the truth was revealed:  Paynter IS the miracle.  

16 Oct 2012 1:49 AM
Grande Fan

What a horse, what a story! Paynter is a miracle and reminds us "never ever give up." Zayat's, the doctors and staff, and lots of fans were needed to supported this horse's journey. Here's to Paynter and his fighting TB spirit and a new road for this journey!

16 Oct 2012 4:39 AM

What an amazing horse!! Seeing the pictures of him doing well was a great blessing, thank you!

16 Oct 2012 7:55 AM

He is truly a miracle. He looks absolutely gorgeous especially after all he's been through.  I wish him the absolute best and would be thrilled if he made it back to the track.  Thank you so much for the pictures.  

16 Oct 2012 8:57 AM

What a blessing for this beautiful champion! Special thanks to his medical team and most especially the Zayat family -- for listening to Paynter's heart and knowing he wanted to fight. It's great to see him being a horse again.

16 Oct 2012 9:28 AM

Echoing what others have said, the prose and the pictures are beautifully written and captured and are so gratefully appreciated! You have chronicled the travails of so many of the sport's equine heroes, both great and small, and their triumphs over adversity.  We are fortunate that you have been our scribe. We now have one more hero to add to the list of others who have overcome great, and seemingly impossible odds. POWER UP PAYNTER! And, thank you, Mr. Z for sharing this amazing horse with all of us. A big virtual hug to you and Team Paynter!  

16 Oct 2012 9:34 AM

What a blessing for this beautiful champion! Special thanks to his medical team and most especially the Zayat family -- for listening to Paynter's heart and knowing he wanted to fight. It's great to see him being a horse again.

16 Oct 2012 9:39 AM
steve from st louis

Steve, Let Justin and Ahmed know there were many "Meshabayachs" (the Hebrew prayer for recovery)said for Paynter's well being.  Knowing the worldwide respect for this horse and his owner, I'm sure there were more than a few 'Hail Marys", too.

16 Oct 2012 10:06 AM
Abigail Anderson

Hi Steve!

Wow -- I can't keep up with your posts because they're going up so fast & furiously, but will take a stab at it. I just love the photo journalism because you are as wonderful a photographer as you are a writer, and photos really do "speak" in ways that words cannot. It was just fabulous having such a detailed report about Paynter, together with the photos. The will of this horse to survive humbles me and the Zayat family were so gracious in sharing his story all along the way. (Team Zayat most definitely deserves this year's Vox Populi Award.) And I agree with a previous reader who observed that one usually gets caught up in the (beautiful) stylistics of your writing, but this one was most definitely all about Paynter!

16 Oct 2012 10:07 AM

This article made my morning. I have alot of work to do today and with this feel good burst of energy you just gave me, I'm ready to "get r done". Thanks Steve!

16 Oct 2012 10:07 AM
Linda in Texas

See Steve, you do not give yourself enough credit, you are a humble man but please do continue to share your talents.

More than just a few view your articles every day, some may not feel comfortable expressing what is in their hearts and minds in a public domain. I have no doubt The Deacon, nobledancer, duchess, OsoDelDesierto and all who treasure your articles with photos wouldn't want it any other way.

And Paynter to me embellishes what they all are made of if given the chance to prove themselves. So far, prayers answered and thanks be given. And continued recovery and much gratitude again to every single person who contributed to the care of this beautiful creature. Frankly, i love him, liked him the first race i watched him run. Then my feelings for him got a little deeper and stronger as his trials and tribulations kept on presenting themselves. Nothing short of miraculous of course with tender loving care.

No one gave up because Paynter wouldn't let them.

16 Oct 2012 10:21 AM

This is the story of the year in thoroughbred racing!  Simply incredible and I have become not only a fan of Paynter but the Zayat family as well.  To see people with so much devotion to their horses is heartwarming and I wish this story was as well known to the general public as some of the bad press racing receives.

There is truly something special in those Tiznow family genes - I had a feeling all along that he had a chance with that dna on his side!  

And to Steve - I absolutely LOVE the photo essays so please don't stop them.

16 Oct 2012 10:25 AM
Shelby's Best Pal

Such good news!  This story makes my day.

16 Oct 2012 10:28 AM

What a great way to start the day, reading about Paynter in a story filled with hope.  He's a beautiful boy and I wish him the best.

16 Oct 2012 10:57 AM
Steve Haskin

Everyone's comments are much appreciated. Thank you. It was my pleasure and privilege to visit Paynter. I'm glad everyone has gotten a chance to see how well he's doing and how bright and alert he is.

16 Oct 2012 11:23 AM

"But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, we'll jump the life to come...screw your courage to the sticking-place and we'll not fail." William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

Mine is a horse-loving heart made rough and worn by far too many tragedies this sport brings. Paynter's story, and the immense love the Zayat family has for him, is a wonderful counterweight to the hard side of horse racing. It also kind of brings me full circle to reminisce about the first Thoroughbred my very young self loved. He was ironically named Bally Ache, a brilliant 2-year-old who won five stakes in a 16-race campaign. At 3 he won the Flamingo, Florida Derby and Preakness, then suffered a career-ending ankle injury. On October 28, 1960 Bally died of a twisted intestine and was buried at Bosque Bonita Farm.

The best thing that's happened to the sport in the half-century since has been the advances in equine veterinary medicine. Thank you to everyone involved in saving Paynter. I hope he can make it back to the races, then goes on to become an important sire. Sometimes the good guys have to win just to prove it's worth hoping, trying, and screwing our courage to the sticking-place.

16 Oct 2012 11:24 AM

Steve!   Thank you SO much for this update on this incredibly BRAVE horse.    I know just what the Mr. Zayat means when he talks about the "emotional roller coaster".  Anyone who has had a horse that is gravely ill and on a hour to hour basis knows all too well what it does to you.   It's like watching a sick child go through all the poking & prodding of examination just to find out what is wrong and THEN having to go through treatment of some sort with no guarantees of a good outcome.     I was especially nervous about his Laminitis diagnosis, having lost a horse to this horrible condition, it is just so painful.....for the horse and the owner.   I hope they are continued to be blessed and Paynter continues on the upward path to complete health.     If he never races again.....he's already won the race of his life!   Thanks again Steve!

16 Oct 2012 11:54 AM

The picture of Paynter coming down the ramp off the van is the way I remember first seeing this colt before the Santa Anita Derby.  As he charged past me down the walkway from the barn area to the paddock, he gave me that identical bold, confident, fearless look of a warrior, which has served him well in the fight of his life.  It is obvious that he is now in a physically-weakened state, which after what he has been through is to be expected.  His job now is to just keep eating... Power Up!!

16 Oct 2012 12:06 PM
Don from PA/DE

Such a wonderful visit and overview Steve, hope he stays healthy to run and/0r breed, he is too young to leave us...I also hope you can do a feature on another great one that ran neck and neck with this one in Haskell, Gemologist,  till his Lung Infection limited his bid to win another big race, he was unbeaten in any race he did not get injured in and/or was sick. Ode to "Gem"

16 Oct 2012 1:06 PM
Paula Higgins

Oh WOW Steve, this is just a fantastic posting. To see these pictures is good for my heart! He looks a tad thin, but in very good shape otherwise. His vets Dr. Laura and Dr. Louise are very special people. This was a miracle on 4 legs. When I heard he had DIC, I thought that was it (my mother died from DIC in the 1950's). But Dr. Laura did the impossible. He is still in my prayers every night. I really hope we honor his owners and vets this year. It is the number one story in racing for me, bar none. The Zayats are up there with Ann and Jerry Moss and the Jacksons in my book. Good people, good for horse racing. YOU, Steve, are a gem for taking these pictures and showing us how well he is coming along. You have a kind and generous heart.

16 Oct 2012 1:14 PM
Paula Higgins

Big_Red_4Ever, loved your post and especially your quote. One for the ages.

16 Oct 2012 1:17 PM

I love reading about Paynter. When I was a student at UC Davis, I volunteered at the Vet Med barn grooming the patients, and one stallion was Robert Goulet, who had three broken legs. He hung from the rafters in a sling for the whole school year. I remember when they brought him down in June, and he walked for the first time! I felt like I was his special person. Does Paynter have a special person? His groom maybe? who sees him daily? I hope so. So many people love him from afar.

16 Oct 2012 2:11 PM

Go Paynter!!!

16 Oct 2012 2:26 PM

Kudos to you Steve on this column. Once I heard that Paynter, battling Colitis, came down with Laminitis I thought that was it for him but alas, miracles do happen. The veterinary team and all the care givers for this colt deserve some credit. It'd be great to see him recover his health 100% and return to the track next year because he's the kind of class horse that we need to have stick around right now. That'd be quite a big deal, given the fate of the stars of this crop of 3YO colts.  

16 Oct 2012 2:33 PM
Karen in Texas

Steve---As I've said before, your "grace of expression" is second to none and is characteristic of true literature. I see the photo essays and illustrative story photos as an extension of that unique ability to capture and express a significant moment in time.

Being able to see Paynter as he arrives at his rehab facility allows us to be reassured that he is indeed "PoweredUp" and going forward to a new normal. As a couple of posters mentioned above, his having lived through DIC is remarkable in and of itself, as this condition is frequently fatal in any species, even in this day and age of medicine. Thank you for caring and for understanding how much we, his fans, care. May Paynter continue his recovery without further incident.

16 Oct 2012 3:31 PM

I was so afraid that people were going to forget all about this courageous horse. Thanks for being there to welcome him, and providing those of us who were praying for him with an update.

16 Oct 2012 4:41 PM

Thank you Steve for going to see Paynter and reporting this wonderful new to us!  Isn't this a blessing, the answer to many, many prayers come true.  Paynter still looks beautiful, he'll regain his weight in no time.  He looks bright, a little thinner and gaunt but lucky to be alive.  I wish all of us were there with him.  I am so happy he is at rehab in such beautiful surroundings as well.  Hey, he might even get to talk to Animal Kingdom there!  I'm glad they chose to rehab cautiously close to New Bolton before Paynter goes to Kentucky.  I wonder if the day will come when Paynter will be reunited with Baffert?  I don't care if he doesn't race again, I would love to see him become a champion on the track again, but just as you said Steve what he has won and accomplished is truly a win of a lifetime.

I wish a long, happy, healthy life to this absolutely amazing Paynter and may all the horror he went through soon become just a distant vague memory for him.  I noticed that Mr. Zayat carries many titles, one of them on his Twitter page is "humanitarian."  This is one man who truly deserves the right to carry that title in this world.  Humanitarians, Steve, Mr. Zayat, Dr. Laura, and all who got the Haskell winner I fell in love with back to health.  I don't think Mr. Zayat is obsessed at all, we all feel the same attachment to Paynter and he too has that aura of the same Zenyatta-like phenomenon we experienced.  Paynter has that unexplained quality too. I feel like I was on the back of the same emotional roller-coaster with the Zayats all the way since the Haskell. God and the doctors saved an amazing animal, Paynter the Miracle Colt, a "Profile In Courage."  C'mon Steve that's your title do the book or movie script. Whatever the decision for Paynter's future whether it be racing or breeding I fully believe Mr. Zayat said it best, Paynter will tell us what he wants.

Thank you again Steve, especially for these photos of him.  I truly love this horse.  PowerUpPaynter!

16 Oct 2012 7:34 PM

Mr. Haskin, I wanted to try to express how privileged I felt to share this small moment of time with you.  I had just taken a horse to the Therapy Center's saltwater spa, and was on my way back to the barn.  I was the one in the blue Cosequin sweater-- instead of finding some way to put into words the admiration and respect I have for you, or the joy that reading your insightful, inspirational blog brings me, I bumbled out some goofy comment to you about how 'cool it was to see you at Fair Hill.'  After I internally facepalmed, I watched Paynter step off the van and into the barn.  Though there was no fanfare on that quiet, drizzly afternoon, he looked every bit the champion; reserved, poised, maintaining his dignity through everything he's been through.  I was struck by how small he was, and became even more impressed with his Haskell victory and his courageous effort in the Belmont-- what a heart must beat in that little guy!  

While working for Mr. Motion, I have been lucky enough to work with some very talented, special horses.     Even so, the unique privilege of chancing on this moment, seeing this brave horse so close up and candidly, and sharing it with one of the people I admire in the industry-- that was not lost on me.  Thank you; it will be one of the memories I'll hang on to forever.  

16 Oct 2012 8:24 PM
Ted from LA

I am glad to see Paynter looking so well.  Great photos.  On a different note, is it just me or has the thoroughbred horse just become weaker due to poor breeding?  Even more troubling is the fact that we haven't had a talking horse since the mid 1960s...

17 Oct 2012 12:08 AM

@Paula Higgins. Thank you :)

17 Oct 2012 12:17 AM
Steve Haskin

Thanks again to everyone for your heartfelt comments.

Carol McE, that's an amazing story. What a great moment that must have been.

Paintedmare,thank you very much for those beautiful and eloquent words. They are much appreciated.

17 Oct 2012 6:59 AM
Love 'em all

Mr. Haskin, of all your wonderful treats lately, this one has to be the best!  And I love all the pics!  Paynter, to the credit of all his loving, caring connections and medical folks, is a true miracle, if ever there was one!  Thank you for making my day.  

Wasn't online yesterday and kept wondering what the latest was on Paynter.  Well, today's treat is appreciated more than you'll ever know.  

Long live Paynter!  

17 Oct 2012 11:30 AM
Fran Loszynski

It's wonderful isn't it Steve, how people help racehorses or any horse recover. God Bless all of you. Wonderful, beautiful, touching pics of Paynter. I can tell you're smitten with him and boy he's lucky to have you as a fan. I'm sure you'll be at the rail someday cheering on "little Paynters". Now I have to go get a Kleenex.

17 Oct 2012 12:05 PM

Wow.  I must admit when the stories were coming out of New Bolton about the next thing that went wrong, and the next and the next, that I started to wonder if they were doing the right thing for the horse.  I have colitis (an after-effect of cancer treatment), so I could certainly imagine how Paynter may have felt some days.  But the laminitis on top of it?  How much more could he take?  What were they waiting for?

How glad I am that the miracle they were waiting for came and Paynter can now stand in his box at Fair Hill eating mints, watch the sun rise every morning, feel the grass under his healed feet, and maybe wonder what the fuss was all about!

thanks again Steve!

17 Oct 2012 3:13 PM
Criminal Type

Steve, Isn't Fair Hill a wonderful place ? I was fortunate enough to visit there in early August (to see Union Rag's before he left for Lane's End) and toured the therapy center. Thanks so much to Sally Goswell (she sent me this article before I knew it was published) for taking the time out of her busy day to take me around and show me some of my favorite horses. (Union Rag's Margano, Lentenor, Lucky Chappy, Aruna, Summer Soiree, Animal Kingdom, Strephanoatsee, Teeth of the Dog to name a few) She showed me through the therapy center while there were horses using the facilities. I got some photos of the Aqua Pacer in use and stood inside the hyperberic chamber and vibrating stall. It was all very cool.

I was glad to hear Paynter was going to Fair Hill to continue his recovery. In my opinion there is no place more peaceful and well equiped for his convelescense. What a couragous horse. I wish nothing but the best for him and the Zayat family. These are owners who truly care about their horses, their comfort and well being. Other owners should aspire to their mentality..They proved it is not just a business.

17 Oct 2012 6:17 PM
Tiz Herself

With the retirements of three year olds I'll Have Another, Hansen, Gemologist, Algorithms, Union Rags, Creative Cause, Bodemeister... reading that Paynter is on the right track for recovery helps to soothe.

Will be interesting to see what the 2013 four year old crop looks like. I imagine Take Charge Indy is possibly retired by the end of the year. Perhaps Prospective, Alpha, The Lumber Guy, maybe Secret Circle will be back, Dullahan... who else?

17 Oct 2012 7:07 PM
Tiz Herself

Royal Delta, Love and Pride,  Awesome Feather, Questing, Love and Pride, Include Me Out, My Miss Aurelia, and Grace Hall... so far the expected entrants for the Ladies Classic/Distaff... of all the Breeders Cup races coming up, am looking forward to that one the most. Am glad I took Friday off to watch it as would hate to miss it!

God speed Paynter - 'though he be but little, he is fierce' keep eating, resting and getting better!

17 Oct 2012 7:09 PM
Paula Higgins

Big_Red_4Eever, back at you!! Ted from LA, glad to see you back. I had my belly laugh for the day thanks to your post. Everyone on here has spoken from the heart. A very nice thing to see in this day and age that we all cared about Paynter enough to pray for him.

CarolMcE loved your story. Loved his name, what a hoot-Robert Goulet!

17 Oct 2012 9:56 PM

What a wonderful story about a courageous horse -- shades of Barbaro but this time, I hope, with a happy ending.

18 Oct 2012 4:29 AM

Ted from LA,

Sure horses talk.  But only on Steve Haskin's blogs!  Thanks to me and Slew that is!

18 Oct 2012 5:31 PM

Oh, Steve!  What a fabulous article!  I totally agree that Paynter has met and triumphed over the biggest obstacle of his life. He looks absolutely wonderful in the pictures you took of him.  I love the beautiful expression in his eyes.  Paynter is a horse it is very easy to love and bond to.  He has qualities that are admirable in a human, not to mention a horse.  I am happy all of our prayers for Paynter have been answered so positively and so emphatically.  The power of prayer, hope and belief is enormous and cannot be contained.  And the strength and ferocious will-to-live of Paynter is inspirational and exceptional.  I'm happy to see him happy - his eyes are bright, he looks wonderful grazing.  And it's wonderful to hear is "being a horse" again. Outstanding news!

Thank you, Steve.  Finding this article has made my weekend.  And thank you for your excellent reporting, as always, and for the beautiful pictures.  All my best to you and your family.

19 Oct 2012 7:40 AM

And a huge "Thank You!" from all of us to Dr. Laura Javsicas, a highly-talented, compassionate Vet. We need many more like her. She truly was Paynter's Guardian Angel in all of this.  Her dedication, the skills of all of the equine vet teams, the Zayats' love and faith in Paynter, Paynter's own phenomenal will-to-live, the prayers of horse fans the world over, and the Grace of the Lord are the reasons gallant Paynter is still with us - a living miracle, an inspiration to all.

19 Oct 2012 8:01 AM

Thank you, Steve! What a horse! So thankful that the owners were willing to give him a chance to be treated and recover. Paynter has been through so much! He should be HOY this year, for sure! Thank you so all his vets, care takers etc. Great to see him at Fair Hill!

19 Oct 2012 2:40 PM

What a beautiful, brave and strong horse Paynter is. Thank you for this story.  Still praying he continues to do well.

20 Oct 2012 2:44 PM

Also just thinking of Barbaro after reading this again.  He, too, had the shows how difficult these battles are.

20 Oct 2012 2:50 PM

This is a great feel good story. Thanks Steve for sharing it and the photos with the readers. I sincerely hope Paynter continues to thrive.Dr. Laura and Mr Zayat should be proud of the way this horse responded to their loving care and concern. And Dr. Southwood who operated on him, has to be commended for the fine surgery performed on him.

Lets just continue to hope and pray he never has to go through this again and that he lives along and happy life. Thanks again Steve for the follow up on this feel good story.

21 Oct 2012 1:38 PM

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