Unbridled returned to the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., at noon today, having been given the go-ahead by veterinarians at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee veterinary clinic. He has made steady progress from two surgeries, the first to remove a mass which proved to be benign, the second to repair a hole at the resection point.
"Things are going marvelously," Claiborne manager Gus Koch said. "He had a great weekend and we are thrilled to get him home."
Koch said Unbridled was let out in his regular paddock to graze for several hours, and would graze about six hours a day beginning Tuesday.
"We're very encouraged," Koch said, "but we've got to watch him closely. He will be checked more regularly by us and the vets. He is missing part of his colon, so that is a concern. And, we are concerned about adhesions. He may be bothered by adhesions."
Koch said Unbridled remains on antibiotics and a special feed which is easily digestible and high in fat content.
"He will gradually be weaned off all of that. We've got to gradually get him back to his normal schedule."
On Oct. 1, Dr. Doug Byars scanned Unbridled and found an accumulation of fluid. He put in a stomach tube and drained the fluid, a process that was repeated for three days.
"Finally, the bowel started working," Koch said. "They were able to take the stomach tube out."
Unbridled had a tumor-like mass removed on Sept. 21. Over three feet of his colon was removed and his bowel was resected.
A pathology report showed the tumor was not cancerous. He had a setback in his recovery Sept. 26 and was operated on a second time the following day. On Sept. 26, Unbridled began running an intermittent fever and fluid was draining into his abdomen. The following day, the fever subsided, but the fluid continued to drain.
A decision was made to open him up again and that was done at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27. In an 80-minute procedure, Dr. Bob Hunt found what he described to Koch as " 'a pencil eraser-sized hole where the site of the original surgery was...where it was resected.' "
Hunt had performed the first surgery along with Dr. Paul Thorpe.
Unbridled was taken to the same clinic on Sept. 3, 2000, after experiencing signs of colic. The veterinarians found a thickening of the large colon wall and there was significant blockage of bile from the bile duct. He returned to Claiborne and had a normal breeding season.
He experienced some colic-like symptoms this summer and then was examined at Claiborne by Drs. Byars and Kim Sprayberry.
The 1990 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner is the sire of 23 stakes winners. He is the eighth leading sire of 2001, with nearly $4 million in earnings. His daughter Exogenous won the Oct. 6 Beldame Stakes (gr. I).
Unbridled began his stud career at Gainesway Farm and moved to Claiborne for the 1997 breeding season. He was syndicated by Seth Hancock into 40 shares worth $475,000 each, a value of $19 million. His stud fee this year was $200,000.