Paynter Continues Road to Recovery

As the morning sun burned through the dense fog that had enshrouded the Fair Hill training center, Paynter was brought out for his daily round of activity. It’s been several weeks since we first saw the colt arrive at Bruce and Amy Jackson’s Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center for his rehab following the ordeal that nearly cost him his life.

Since his arrival on that rainy afternoon, Paynter has made steady progress, gaining 76 pounds. He is now nearing 1,000 pounds and is on his way to being back to normal weight. No time frame has been set as to how much longer he will remain at the facility.

In another important move forward, he had his first set of shoes put on several days ago and in short looks like a happy, healthy horse who is enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the horse heaven that is Fair Hill.

He has progressed from hand walking to being let out in a round pen to being turned out in a paddock.

On this morning, Paynter was brought out to graze, often picking his head up to check out any activity around him or simply to eye a set of Graham Motion horses heading to the rolling countryside or the paths that meander through the nearby woods. One thing we have learned and noticed about Paynter is he is a very social animal who appears to love the company of other horses.

All those who come in contact with him are impressed with the colt’s class and intelligence. And he does love his mints (the red peppermint ones only. He’ll spit out the green spearmint ones). Crinkle some paper and he’ll come jogging across his paddock to you.

With a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, an AquaPacer, and a cold saltwater spa, Paynter has access to all the modern therapeutic equipment to all but assure a steady and complete recovery. He has just finished his first sessions in the hyperbaric chamber.

What separates this facility from all others of its kind is that it is the only one that is part of a training center, enabling racehorses stabled on the grounds to walk a short distance for their therapy session. They also provide Equissage treatment, electromagnetic therapy, and a solarium.

Combine all this with the Jacksons’ expertise, TLC, and dedicated staff, and the cathartic ambiance of Fair Hill and its environs and it is no wonder horses flourish here.

Space prevents us from posting more photos of the Therapy Center and Fair Hill – we will try to post them on Facebook or in a future blog. For now, here are a few photos of Paynter.

All photos by Steve Haskin

Paynter looking as bright and alert as ever

Paynter loving his time outside in the brisk autumn air

Paynter is always looking at something or someone

Paddock time no doubt is his favorite

Crinkle the paper and he will come

Bruce Jackson rewards Paynter with his mint (red kind, of course)

Paynter strikes a beautiful pose before going out in the paddock


Leave a Comment:


So great to see Paynter up and about and enjoying being a horse again.  He sounds like a horse full of character and soul.  Thanks, Steve, for the pictures and for filling us in on this amazing thoroughbred!

12 Nov 2012 5:09 PM


12 Nov 2012 5:30 PM
Steel Dragon

Thanks for the great news and accompanying pictures, Mr. Haskin.

So does this mean that laminitis is curable?

12 Nov 2012 5:48 PM

All I can say is thank God.  Paynter is the living answer to so many prayers.  I am choked up reading this.  Thanks for going Steve and giving us this article and great photos.

I'm still championing his cause, I've called News12 NJ myself and told them they should be telling the Paynter story after featuring so many Haskell stories this year and so many unaware of Paynter's plight.

Look at him, he loves life.  There is that will to live evidenced right there.  I had heard he wanted to take off with some Motion horses!  And as I mentioned there is a Youtube video of him in his round pen called "Paynter in his round pen at FairHill."

PowerUpPaynter!  I wish I was at that fence giving him a hug and a peppermint.

Linda in Texas,

That hat was gorgeous!  You know my style that is something I would wear for sure.  I missed the auction but it has given me ideas for the next Belmont and Haskell.  Thank you for thinking of me.

12 Nov 2012 6:04 PM

His blanket color matches exactly my dress I went to see Paynter in at the Haskell!!!

This HOY sure is looking good in blue!!!!!!!!

12 Nov 2012 6:46 PM

Hooray for Paynter!!! <3

12 Nov 2012 6:57 PM

I'm still in awe of Paynter's progress and will to survive. It's a tremendous feat for all involved, not the least of all the horse himself.

12 Nov 2012 7:13 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Wonderful Article.  

12 Nov 2012 7:16 PM

My vote for the Vox Populi ( hopefully got the spelling ) Paynter.  He is looking so well. Thank you so much for the update and the photos.

12 Nov 2012 7:49 PM

Love it.  The essay and the pictures brighten my day.  Hooray for Paynter.

12 Nov 2012 8:11 PM

"Prayers go up...and blessings come down".  This horse is a blessing to all of us!

I truly wish him the best and...thank you Steve for the pics and update.  Thank you to the Zayat's for being such caring, unselfish, wonderful owners.

12 Nov 2012 8:21 PM
Mary Jo

Early in the year I had so hoped to see him at the Breeders' Cup.  But, so happy he's doing so grand.  Barbaro times were too hard on us.

12 Nov 2012 9:17 PM

It is so great to see Paynter looking so good. Hopefully he will make a full recovery. Thanks Steve for the follow up. Could you keep up the updates?

It is so nice to hear a horse that has gone through so much is thriving once again. It's also great that the Zayat's love for this horse helped make this the feel good story of the year. All owners should have this much compassion for their horses.

12 Nov 2012 9:23 PM
The Deacon

Steve: Fabulous story and such a feel good ending Any word on whether they plan to race him next year if all goes well. It would be the best moment of all to see him on the track again.

Does this mean Steve that laminitis can be cured moving forward, at least for many horses.

12 Nov 2012 9:51 PM
Christine Hadden

Just had to say thank you SO much for your many updates and pictures of Paynter.  I've been following this story all along, wishing and hoping for the best - and so far, so good! I've been enamored with Paynter since the beginning of his career and had him in all my virtual horse racing stables before he was so 'famous'.

It's so nice to be able to hear good news. I can still recall how awful I felt during the entire Barbaro ordeal, so this is a breath of fresh air.

I also follow the Zayats on Twitter- they are so generous with their fans by keeping us up to date with Paynter's progress.

Thank you so much for doing the same.

12 Nov 2012 9:57 PM
Christine Hadden

So excited to hear that Paynter is still doing well! He looks great!

I've been following Paynter since the start of his career and he was in all my "virtual stables" in fantasy horse racing, so I was devastated when he got sick.

I've also got to hand it to the Zayats for being such loving owners and doing right by the horse. They've been so generous in keeping Paynter's fans updated through Twitter with his progress.

This means a lot to us fans who are after all these years still reeling about the loss of Barbaro.

So thanks SO much for keeping us all in the loop and updating us with news and photos.

Keep it coming! :)

12 Nov 2012 10:15 PM

Thank you for the story and pictures, Steve. So glad to see Paynter looking happy and on his way to a hopefully full recovery. Does anyone know the odds of his ever having a recurrence of such problems? Will he need special care and a special diet the rest of his life? I hope he can live a normal life, have a successful career next year, and then become a successful sire.

Steel Dragon, I don't know the answer to your question about laminitis, but know that when the disease took Secretariat's life, Mrs. Chenery worked with the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Inc. and New Bolton to establish a fund for research into finding a cure. Red died in 1989, so maybe some progress has been made since then.

12 Nov 2012 10:59 PM

Steve, thank you so much for this update and for the pictures!

Please keep us all up to date on Paynter's progress.

12 Nov 2012 10:59 PM
Steve Haskin

Deacon, the last I heard, the plan was to bring him back next year, assuming he gets back to racing condition. As for the laminitis, I can't say with all certainty, but from what I believe it was not full blown laminitis, although it was serious enough. It was caught and treated in time. A lot of his recovery from this and his other ailments has been due to Paynter himself.

12 Nov 2012 11:01 PM
Steel Dragon

I had always thought laminitis was hopeless. Not to be crude but is Paynter the equine equivalent of Magic Johnson?

12 Nov 2012 11:35 PM
Lise from Maine


God love him. He is absolutely


Thank you so much for showing us, his fans, those lovely photos of Paynter.

I am so grateful for his recovery.

It looks like that he is well taken care of and is happy.

Lots of love, Paynter!

Lise from Maine

12 Nov 2012 11:48 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

This journey we've been on with Paynter and his human associates in the fight for life has been very scary at times, has been nerve racking, has been astonishing, has been glorious, and now I just feel satisfied, and at peace. I want to remind people of the video that Alex'sBigFan told us about on the last blog. It is at Youtube, and you can type in "Paynter in his round pen at Fairhill" to see it. It is magical. To see Paynter on the track again will take time but I can't think of a better comeback in history. It would be almost too moving to handle. Hopefully that will happen and it will be the greatest story ever. We are fortunate to have Steve's updates, and Mr. Zayat's updates previously to help us through the trauma. Go Paynter Go, it's so good to see you enjoying life. You were given the opportunity to fight for your life and you won. Congratulations. You sure deserve those peppermints. Most would have given up. You are the champion of champions.

13 Nov 2012 12:54 AM
The Deacon

The heart of a champion, whether on the track or for the survival of life can only be appreciated. Paynter is my champion of 2012..........thanks Steve for a fabulous year of blogs, insights and darn good journalism.....

13 Nov 2012 3:43 AM

This made my day, how often does this ever happen? This colt has the heart of a lion-God bless him!

13 Nov 2012 6:14 AM

I love happy endings and Steve's account of Paynter's recovery seems to be one.

13 Nov 2012 6:57 AM

Miracle horse!! Thanks so much Steve, it made my day.  

13 Nov 2012 7:46 AM
steve from st louis

Even if Paynter never races again, this story has a fairy-tale ending. Making it back to the track would just be gravy. And going full circle to the breeding shed would be unreal! I imagine anyone would love to have a Paynter colt or filly, just a huge heart inside of a plain, brown wrapper.

13 Nov 2012 8:06 AM

Great article, photos--I think you're a fan of Fair Hill!

13 Nov 2012 8:17 AM

Thanks for the great story. In a world filled with despair and bad news at every turn, it's sure nice to hear a heartwarming story with a happy ending. We know now that a horse doesn't always have to cross the finish line first to be a "winner". Paynter's race was for his life, and he won.

13 Nov 2012 8:57 AM

Beautiful to see him looking totally normal, outside, and enjoying life!  Thanks for another great article and photos.  Hilarious about the green peppermints!!

13 Nov 2012 9:34 AM

What a pretty boy, and what a good news pick-me-up!

Paynter should be a poster boy for whoever makes his blanket - "real horses roll - can your paddock sheet take this?"

Laminitis is curable sometimes, but the issue is that laminitis is not laminitis.  Just like broken legs come in a wide variety of life and death levels.  Not to be too graphic here, but in the worst cases of laminitis the hoof comes apart, the pedal (or coffin) bone collapses down through the lamina, and horse must be put down.  But there are any number of cases of laminitis caused by the poisons (endotoxins) related to colic or other diseases where the laminitis passes if diligently treated and the hooves regain their health.

There are also stable forms of laminitis that a horse can live with for years.  

I always thought laminitis was associated with diseases and was astonished to discover that horses can sometimes get it from eating grass that has frozen!  Apparently something happens to the sugars in the grass and they are not processed well by horses - something about the type and quantity of insulin they need (never was good at biochemistry).  Sort of makes you wonder how the species survived!

Anyway, Paynter, glad you're still here, and occupying the heaven that is Fair Hill rather than the other one!

13 Nov 2012 10:51 AM

Thank You Ever So Much Steve, for the beautiful update and photos, on Paynter!

I've never signed in before, but so love reading everything you write Steve!! As I've been a Fan of yours for many years now, as you have such a beautiful way of writing that, makes me feel that I'am right there with you everytime, as well.

Next Time you go and visit Paynter, please give him a red peppermint from me, ok.

13 Nov 2012 11:05 AM
Steve Haskin

Thank you very much, Tupster. I appreciate the kind words. I definitely will give Paynter a mint for you next time. In fact, I'll give him two.

13 Nov 2012 11:43 AM
marilyn braudrick

thank you again for your words and pictures of my beloved Paynter. It was great meeting you at the breeder's cup. we hope your daughter got out of that high rise . Skip, my husband, especially asked about her.again, thank you for all of your exceptional articles and photos.

Marilyn Braudrick

13 Nov 2012 12:42 PM
Will's Way girl

I hope Ms. Chenery looks at Paynter as a vox populi recipient.  This animal has been through hell and back and deserves national credit for his fearlessness and will to live!  Mr. Zayat should also be commended for the "spare no expense" model of caring for a thoroughbred we all wish all owners would follow.  When you see Paynter again Steve, please give him a smoosh and hug from me!  "Human up" people, Mr. Zayat is one of the good guys...

13 Nov 2012 1:25 PM
Jean in Chicago

 For possible future treatment of laminitis, check out the story of Thorn Song (another horse owned by Zayat who really seems willing to try his best for the horses).  In a real hail Mary, final ditch effort, Thorn Song was treated with stem cells and went from 'we better put him down' to amazing his vets with great hoof regrowth. He was saved for stud and his first foal was born this past March.

  Paynter and Thorn Song give me hope that someday (I hope sooner rather than later) vet medicine and technology will get us to a time when we won't have the heartbreak of more Secretariats and Barbaros.  

13 Nov 2012 1:26 PM

Bless his soul, Paynter looks as happy as a colt romping in a paddock.

Thanks for the follow up, Steve.

So thrilled to see him doing so well.  He's been one of my favorites.

Fair Hill suits him very well.  Thanks Mr. Irwin for creating such a marvelous complex.

13 Nov 2012 2:35 PM
Priscilla in Altadena

Good Morning, all.  I have enjoyed reading the blog and everyone's comments for some time--now, I want to add one.  The comments are  a credit to horse people in general.  They ( comments) are articulate, spelled correctly and thoughtful.  Every once in awhile I make the mistake of reading comments somewhere like Y****and am horrified at the level of ignorance and spite they show.  I feel there's hope for humanity when I read the comments for the Bloodhorse blogs.

13 Nov 2012 2:51 PM
Ida Lee

I can't believe this is the same horse I spent weeks crying over just a few months ago. Paynter looks wonderful! I am so grateful that this beautiful and talented boy is doing so great. Thank you so much for your wonderful article and the photos are just precious.

13 Nov 2012 3:38 PM

Laminitis has many causes and it is cureable IF one can treat the underlying cause and the laminitis (founder) has not gone too far.  If the horse has laminitis, and the inflammation is brought under control immediately, AND the underlying cause is identified and eliminated, he may return to normal.  Horses who have slight changes because of founder may become sound again (for light work, such as pleasure classes or even lower level dressage) with corrective shoeing.  If the cause of the laminitis cannot be eliminated, however, the horse will founder again at some point, even if it is temporarily brought under control.

  Laminitis may occur when a horses eats too much grain or green grass.  It can be caused by another injury that will not allow the horse to distribute his weight properly, so that the uninjured leg bears too much weight and begins to founder.  Mares that retain afterbirth may founder.  Cushing's disease can cause founder, as can a severe colic.  Horses that are obese may suddenly founder (this is common in ponies).

Laminitis is a nasty, horrible disease.  I am glad Paynter is doing well.

13 Nov 2012 4:27 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the update and the photos! Seeing Paynter looking so well and happy made my day! To have him survive not only his illness but laminitis... well, after the heartbreak of losing both Secretariat and Barbaro, that just makes this horse Something Special.

13 Nov 2012 4:41 PM

Thanks, Steve, for another great story. I always look first to see if you have a new blog posted when I open the Bloodhorse site. Paynter's story gives hope to all horse owners who may be facing medical crises with their own horses. He is a courageous fighter and a champion, whether or not he ever races again.

13 Nov 2012 5:05 PM
Steel Dragon

Thanks to all for the great info about laminitis. Might Paynter actually race again? I would hope not, but if so they should name the race in his honor. I wonder if a horse has ever raced in a race named after him (or her).

13 Nov 2012 6:06 PM
Your Only Friend

With continued loving care hopefully we will see him back on the track winning again.

13 Nov 2012 7:51 PM

Steve, MY HERO!   Once again you are covering a story that EVERY Sports section in the major news dailies SHOULD be covering.    Instead of always reporting the bad, ugly or tragic things that can happen, why can't they update everyone on something this POSITIVE!?   I know I have taken my local paper to task on this especially since we are in Florida only 90 mins. away from Ocala and the sales and training centers!

SO wonderful to SEE Paynter with that bright, intelligent look and outgoing style!     As someone else commented earlier......I choked up when I saw the pix.   One day I'd like to visit Fair Hill and the Rehab looks & sounds like "stat of the art" stuff there.     If I ever get really sick or injured I'm telling my husband to take me to Fair Hill!   :)

13 Nov 2012 8:41 PM
Linda in Texas

Thank you Racing Gods and all the beautiful people who looked out for him, slept near him and the Zayat's who  helped give this handsome fella a 4th chance or was it 3? Too many that is for sure.

Like Alex'sBigFan, and i don't admit this usually, but i am  choked up also. And The Deacon says it all and i agree, 'Paynter is his Champion of 2012.' As far as i am concerned and i know with Deacon, he usually speaks for many of us so we are not alone. What a constitution that creature has.

i love the shot on his back rolling in the paddock.

Life is Good and he says thank you!

What a sweetheart.

Lucky you Steve.

And lucky us. Thank you.

P.S. - ABF, i knew you would love that hat. :) Don't know what it sold for but someone is going to be looking pretty pretty at some race someplace.

13 Nov 2012 9:05 PM
Grande Fan

It does the heart good to see this warrior on the mend! How lucky the horse to be given such care and how lucky the fans to see him thriving.

13 Nov 2012 9:41 PM

Just wanted to post one more comment. Paynter has a very kind eye. His temperament seems wonderful. If he does get a chance as a sire, I hope he passes that on to his babies. He has a sire's pedigree, seems to me, being by Awesome Again out of a full sister to Tiznow. So I hope Paynter gets his chance with the ladies.

13 Nov 2012 10:07 PM
Paula Higgins

This post just made me happy as a clam Steve! Paynter looks just wonderful. The Zayats are to be applauded for not giving up on him and his vets as well, for their exemplary care. Simply amazing all around. I totally agree with everyone who said he should get the Vox Populi Award. A fitting tribute to this incredibly brave horse, his owners and care givers. As for his laminitis, it was in the early stage. But as everyone knows, it can snowball in a hurry and become intractable. The vets just did everything right and Paynter was intelligent in the way he handled it. It all gave him the best possible chance to survive.

13 Nov 2012 11:07 PM
Mike Relva

Thanks Steve for your updates regarding Paynter. Continued good luck to him.

13 Nov 2012 11:39 PM

Steve, thanks so much for the updates and pics of Paynter.  He is looking so well and happy, truly a miracle!!  For those of us that remember everything that Secretariat and Barbaro (and countless others) went through, it is great knowing that horses can and do beat laminitis.  And to everyone that has given info on this dreaded disease, I thank you as I didn't know a real lot about it.  Paynter is an inspiration to us all!!!

13 Nov 2012 11:52 PM

A wonderful story with beautiful pictures of happiness ! It is a very good man who went to great lengths to save and help his horse and never quitting even at the most dire of times.WELL DONE ! Truly ,the horse belongs to the one who loves him best and this is easy to see and admire with PAYNTER And the Zayat family.Best of luck going forward !

14 Nov 2012 12:12 AM
Karen in Texas

Thanks for the progress report on Paynter, Steve!

I'm just going to make a prediction--Paynter will receive the Vox Populi Award.

14 Nov 2012 11:33 AM

People have been talking about the Vox Popoli award, someone should create a "Spectacular Bid" award called "Spectacular" for a horse that is just that.  What a spirit and will.  These pictures are so wonderful to see the heart of this champion and how well he is doing and that he actually seemed to conquer laminitis.  I also read some comments about how wonderful Mr. Zayat is, that might be true but I just think that to race him again would be SO greedy.  Let him retire and be happy at stud, rolling in the meadows.  

14 Nov 2012 12:55 PM
Groupie Doll

Enjoy your life Paynter!!  And, never take any green peppermints ;)

Thank you Steve.  

14 Nov 2012 2:31 PM

Thank you, Steve for the update on Paynter. He looks so happy and healthy. It is hard to imagine he was fighting for his life, just a few months ago. His owners and everyone who has assisted in his recovery, deserves an award for their devotion to helping Paynter over come his illness. God Bless Them, ALL :)

14 Nov 2012 3:20 PM

Steve, this article made my day! Thank you for the wonderful words and beautiful photos of this four-legged miracle. Many blessings to Paynter and the Zayats and everyone else who has worked so hard for his recovery, and to you for your continued gifts to us here!

14 Nov 2012 3:46 PM

Hi Steve,

Thank you for the beautiful article and pictoral update on Paynter.  Seeing him happy and getting better each and every day makes me so happy.  Witnessing Paynter's triumphant comeback is an answer to many of my prayers.  Paynter is the embodiment of courage and tenacity.  His love for life is an inspiration.

Paynter looks very handsome in all of the pictures you have posted of him in this article, Steve. My absolute favorite picture is the one of Paynter rolling on the ground in pure joy.  That picture brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile to my lips.  I'm so happy to see Paynter so happy! - LOL.  Go, Paynter, go!!  Thank you, Lord, for prayers answered.  So many of us love this sweet, good-natured horse.  Paynter is impressive in every sense of the word.  What a beautiful sight - Paynter's serene face turned toward the sun.  I know he wishes he was out there running toward the rolling countryside along with the Motion horses.  Thank Goodness, the miracle of Paynter's recovery means he WILL run in the rolling countryside again one day.  What a happy day that will be!!  I sincerely hope I will get to visit him one day and see him in person.  And when I do, I will make sure I bring the mother lode of red peppermint candy for Paynter as a treat! - LOL.

Thanks again, Steve, for the wonderful, uplifting article and the beautiful photos of Paynter.  You are a very fine journalist. Your work is not only informative, it is moving as well.  Have a lovely week!

14 Nov 2012 7:03 PM


Bravo!  I've taken the local New Jersey TV News to task on this as well.  They featured story after story on the Haskell this year but not on the plight of the winner afterwards who has NJ connections.  I want Steve to speak on News12 NJ about Paynter, no one better in the world to do it.  Since Paynter won at Monmouth right in the heart of where the hurricane devastion hit, he may be inspirational for New Jerseyans to stand up and keep going just like he did.  They were impressed with the story so let's see if they follow suit and feature a Paynter story.  Hopefully they contact the Zayats and air something.

Or Steve should narrate an ESPN or TVG documentary on Paynter.  

14 Nov 2012 7:28 PM

An ESPN documentary on Paynter's miraculous recovery is an excellent idea, Alex'sBigFan. Steve narrating the documentary is an excellent idea as well.  That idea needs to be presented to the big brass at ESPN and Disney.  It's the perfect time of year to run the story as well.  Heartwarming special interest stories play well during the natural sentimentalism that is prevalent nationwide during the Thanksgiving/Christmas/holiday season.

14 Nov 2012 9:41 PM

Wow, the article on a potential treatment for laminitis on the Bloodhorse site's front page today is so encouraging. The article says, "The survival rate for laminitis is estimated to be only 25%. Very few surviving horses return to their previous levels of activity, and laminitis often reappears."

Not only is Paynter among the fortunate 25%, but there is a chance his disease could return. So all who love horses can rejoice today at this news about a possible treatment. I encourage everyone to read the article:

15 Nov 2012 10:11 AM
Juho Isoviita

"Paynter and Thorn Song give me hope that someday (I hope sooner rather than later) vet medicine and technology will get us to a time when we won't have the heartbreak of more Secretariats and Barbaros."

Hope to see better breeding, less hormones and drugs, in US. That is the only way to get sound horses that stay sound.

Breeding is the backbone of thoroughbreds, not vet medicine and technology!

15 Nov 2012 12:47 PM

I found an interesting bit of information on one of the complex causes of laminitis.

Drug reactions: Anecdotally there have been reports of laminitis following the administration of drugs, especially in the case of ‘Corticosteroid’

One of the side effects of ‘Corticosteroid’ usage is Colitis. In medical terms Colitis is refers to an inflammation of the colon and is often used to describe an inflammation of the large intestine.

Paynter was discovered to have a severe case inflammation in his colon that necessitated surgery to address.

I am in way making an accusation but his case appears consistent with the information above.

16 Nov 2012 9:16 AM
Jean in Chicago

Juho Isoviita:

    I agree breeding is the way to go.  I'm still trying to figure out why we tell human runners to hydrate and then think it reasonable to run thoroughbreds on a dose of diuretics.  If they bleed, don't breed.

   But laminitis has been around for a long time and we still don't know if there is a genetic component to it.  Has anybody ever done the research to see if it runs in particular families?

  It seems to show up in horses with leg injuries.  Is this due to reduced blood flow from lack of exercise while standing in a stall healing?  Or if it begins, even at a prediagnostic level, does a horse reduce  walking because its feet hurt?  And speaking from experience, going for long walks after abdominal surgery is not fun.

    The chemical composition of different grasses at different times of the year seems implicated.  Does this change the gut flora and increase the possibility of colitis?  I don't know, but I do know that until we figure out a way to prevent laminitis, I don't want more horses to be put down if there is any possibility of a cure.

16 Nov 2012 2:54 PM

I sent an email to Brian Williams (NBC) a few weeks ago when Paynter was starting his recovery.  Suggested that he consider doing a segment on the horse as well as Mr. Zayat in his "making a differenece" segment.  There are some (maybe, many) who have a negative opinion of horseracing.  Wouldn't it be great for a mainstream media network such as NBC to show that there are "good guys" out there who do go to great lengths to safe their horse?  Perhaps, some of you might want to email that same suggestion to Mr. Williams.  Think of the number of people who will see this great effort on the part of Mr. Zayat and who have not even been aware of what Paynter has gone through!  It could help in attracting some fans to return to horseracing.

17 Nov 2012 8:39 PM
an ole railbird

 laminitis can be caused by a vareity of very simple things. especially to a horse that already has damage to lower legs & feet.

 one of the known causes, are winter grasses. a muture johnson grass plant (although not a winter grass), after a hard frost, can cause it. winter grasses such as oats, wheat, or rye grass plants shortly after hard frosts,(&others) create a poision that is harmful to most to most grazing animals. it results in nitrate poision in cattle, blue tongue in sheep, & will bloat any rumemnating animal.

 so i ask some of you, who have become such experts, on horse training, simplily by being race fans.

if something as simple as a chemical change, that is naturally occuring, in the earth, can cause laminitis? how do you always come up with a way to blame a trainer, of "drugging his horses".

a horse thats ready to race, is when his body funtions, are at its peak. and the least little thing can send his body into modes that vets dont even understand. and these modes the body goes into,are not always what we intend to happen.

 it just galls my posterior, when i think, of all the money it takes to get a vets degree.

 and i think of all the money that it cost in vet. bills to simply get a horse to a simple claiming race.

and then some poor gambler that has some bad luck can set down at his computer & 2nd guess all that has been done for the horse. and publicly accuse a top trainer of doping his horses.

before you critize professonal trainers & vets, you should have a little more experince, than what you get, peeping through the saddleing paddock fence& throwing away non winning tickets.

to all of the fans not guility of this i say" happy racing"& "good luck gambleing".

 to those of which i accuse of these shameful deeds, "i hope you have more of the same kind of luck that you have been having. its what you deserve".

i remain, "an ole railbird".

19 Nov 2012 1:20 PM

We all love Paynter so much here I wish we could organize a

"Pilgrimage To Paynter" if Fair Hill would allow such a thing.

Paynter in his blue cape looks like SuperEquine!!!  Or he looks like a regal King draped in his blue robe.  Or he looks like a New York Knick suited up for a game!  Whatever he looks like Paynter has the Power........the Power to heal, the Power to play, the Power to live on.  Power Up Paynter.

Great idea Nu-Fan with the NBC suggestion.  By the time we are all done Paynter will be all over the media, as well he should be.

Agree Ole Railbird about the engorging on those grasses causing the bloat and uneven weight distrubtion on the limbs being the primary cause of laminitis, not meds.  How is that pregnant mares don't develop it?  Maybe the pregnancy weight is evenly centered so they are evenly balanced, don't know do you have any insight on that?

19 Nov 2012 9:35 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Happy Thanksgiving Paynter, and to all of those who have helped you out, and especially to Mr. Zayat for his dedication and courage in helping you to live. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our broodmares and sires in foreign countries and about to go to foreign countries and to all of our animals here and everyone here and in the racing world and beyond. Happy Thanksgiving Steve. You continually give us insight and joy and we are thankful to you and your Dad for your career path that has been such a gift to so many.

21 Nov 2012 1:08 PM

Thank-you so very much for providing the updates and photos of Paynter's progress overcoming such dire health issues. He certainly gave us a prevue of his toughness in the Belmont when pinning his ears and giving every bit of himself trying to hold off Union Rags. That fighting spirit sure has served him well throughout this incredibly difficult ordeal. And many thanks to you Steve for your exemplary work as a true ambassador for the sport by how well you capture the true essence of what make this game the greatest. I wish more of the general public, who tend to only pay attention to the triple crown races, would read all of your articles. I am certain it would do wonders for the game! I was especially pleased to see you had written the article on the smashing debut win of Zenyatta's half sis, Eblouissante. While there will never be another Zenyatta, his filly sure has the makings of something special in her own right. I was always so amazed how Shirreffs was able to keep Zenyatta sound considering her size and of course, her running style helped too. So at least little sis is in the very best hands to keep her on track toward what I hope will be a good enough career to bring back to the track so many of those devoted Zenyatta fans who filled the stands. I eagerly await what I hope will be a new feature article from you on this promising dazzler. Happy Thanksgiving Steve!

21 Nov 2012 10:24 PM

Just beautiful to see Paynter over come almost certian death...Just wish Barbaro & Others could have had the same fate...ty...

22 Nov 2012 10:14 AM

I'm glad he recovered, but I wouldn't call this horse especially good looking or impressively built. I had thought he was, based on the  descriptions offered in numerous articles. The fact that he seems social could just mean he's nervous about the other horses and isn't a quality I would prize.

I long for the time when a truly powerful, big, muscled race horse emerges again.

27 Nov 2012 2:09 AM

This horse will never race again and if he does he won't return to form as a 4 year old. He ain't no Wise Dan.

27 Nov 2012 2:14 AM

Good  to  see  some  updated  photos  of  Paynter.   He  looks  great!   Still,  it's  one  day  at  a  time  with  a  horse  that's  been  so  ill.  He  couldn't  be  in  a  better  place then  Fair  Hill.  It  looks  like  he's  enjoying  his  stay!  Wonderful  to  see  him  happy.

27 Nov 2012 2:58 AM
Tiz Herself

Any publications that I have read on this courageous horse inspires myself to never give up a fight, to keep fighting for what is most important. Paynter and his connections have faced such adverse odds and Paynter has dug deep for everything he has and I hope he keeps up the will to live.  Would like to think that the Seattle Slew, the Northern Dancer and In Reality blood that courses through him also helps to play apart, being out of a full sister to Tiznow, and Tiznow had courage in spades. Keep up the fight Paynter! From your Alberta fan!

Thanks Steve for keeping us all in the loop about his situation, it means a lot.

27 Nov 2012 10:38 AM

i followed paynter's illness and recovery with concern and am so very happy that he appears to be well now.  i also agree with the others who have mentioned him as the worthy winner of the vox populi award.  however i do not believe this horse should return to the track.  that won't be popular with many of his fans, but with the trauma this horse has endured already, he should not be put through the rigors of training and the stress of racing again.  turn him out and let him be a horse.

28 Nov 2012 9:14 AM

had to read the story again.  Way to go P, glad you are rolling once again.......big thank you to all the docs who made it possible for him to live on.

28 Nov 2012 12:58 PM
Mickie Miller

You go Big Boy, you are such a beautiful baby!!  So glad you are on the road to recovery!

28 Nov 2012 4:48 PM

What is so exceptional about this horse's looks?? He's a plain brown horse, kind of small and effeminate looking (eyes and neck). Yet the original buyer claims he was exceptionally good-looking and well built. How so? And, he didn't win that much, so why is he being touted as one of the best horses of '12? I like big, strong horses with rippling muscles, fierce eyes, and disdain for other animals. But instead, some of these comments praise his seeming "sensitivity" and

"alertness", his big soft eyes, awareness of movements and other effeminate qualities. No! Whatever happened to being big and strong and proudly male as a basic requirement of a race


08 Dec 2012 10:07 PM

Congratulations for winning the Vox Populi

..... and more importantly, the race of your life - the Race for Your Life!

Much success in the years ahead!

29 Dec 2012 11:38 AM

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