Roaring Lion is recovering at home after he had a quarter of his small intestine removed in a second emergency colic surgery.
Tweenhills Stud owner David Redvers shared a video update on the condition of the four-time Group One winner and 2018 Cartier Horse of the Year, who retired to stud in 2018.
The four-year-old grey, by Kittens Joy, is back at Cambridge Stud — his New Zealand base — following the emergency operation.
Mr Redvers said in the first operation, vets discovered the horse’s small intestine had slipped through the mesentery — which connects the intestines to the abdominal wall — and the Cambridge Stud team got him to the vets with “minutes to spare”.
“There was a very optimistic moment in what I would describe as a rollercoaster ride where he looked to be getting much better. Rob Hitchcock, the stud vet, was there with the team monitoring him all the way through,” said Mr Redvers.
“Sadly after three or four days, just when we thought the horse was making massive progress he colicked again. We decided the only course of action to give the horse any chance of survival was to operate immediately.
“Both Dr Alana [Zantingh] and Dr Greg [Quinn, from Waikato Equine Vets] came back in and I witnessed the operation from start to finish, nearly two-and-a-half hours of very intense work, whereby they had to reset 14 feet.
“That means they had to remove 25% of his small intestine and join it up again. The chances of a horse surviving one colic operation are difficult, slim. The chances of surviving two operations where a large section of intestine is reset are very slim indeed.
“But it is testament to the horse’s courage and the care that he was given that I’m pleased to say he has returned to Cambridge Stud where he will continue his recuperation.”
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Mr Redvers thanked all those involved for their “superhuman effort” to make sure the horse “comes out the other side”.
“We don’t know for certain whether Roaring Lion will survive this. We do know he is in the best possible hands and has a very good chance of doing so,” he added.
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