Zabeel Recovering From Leg Injury

By Ric Chapman
A paddock accident to a hind leg of the great Zabeel sent a scare through Cambridge Stud in New Zealand where the champion has been standing for 10 years. He was immediately confined to his stall.

"He has been hospitalized," confirmed Patrick Hogan, his owner and master of Cambridge Stud. "We confined him to his box for three weeks and his injury progressed satisfactorily in that time. Zabeel is doing fine at present."

When the accident occurred there were considerable fears.
"Veterinary advice is that Zabeel may be able to go out for a walk and a pick in February," said Hogan. "I'd like to think that two weeks after that he can go to his paddock to roam freely again."

Zabeel (Sir Tristram--Lady Giselle) has been the modern day wonder stallion of New Zealand and in many ways, Australia's breeding scene too.

Currently he leads the Australian champion sires' table, clear of Danehill and the emerging stars Encosta de Lago and Redoute's Choice. And it is a role he is accustomed to, having been the only stallion consistently good enough to challenge the might of Danehill in the southern hemisphere over the past few seasons.

In mid-January he registered his 83rd stakes winner when Etoile De Nord won the listed Marton Cup at Awapuni.

Last season he was represented by his champion unbeaten son Reset, who won two group I races and $850,000 in his five straight wins from as many starts.

Zabeel already has sired two Melbourne Cup winners and two Caulfield Cup winners, both group I races. And his stock thus far has won $56 million (about U.S. $46.6 million). Of course, he sired Australian champion Octagonal to kick start his career.

"We, at Cambridge Stud, cannot believe how well he has handled this major setback in his life," added Hogan. "Being an injury to a hind leg tendon, well, our greatest worry was having to house him for six weeks in his box and as well, we were very concerned how would he handle the situation of lying down to rest to recuperate, as he was unable to put any weight whatsoever to begin with on that leg.

"Then, quite unbelievably, he seemed to work it out himself by pushing the shavings (bedding) up against the wall to make a comfortable bank which he then lay against to rest, and when the time came to get up, he used his body and good hind leg to slide up the wall, putting all the weight against the wall as he slid up to a standing position. It really was quite amazing."

Zabeel presently heads the New Zealand list of leading sires with more than $1million in earnings so far and also heads the Australian sire premiership.

Last year he stood for $85,000 (about U.S. $60,000) and received a full book.