Commentary: Racehorse Paynter Continues Road to Recovery

Commentary: Racehorse Paynter Continues Road to Recovery

Paynter love his mints, but only the red peppermint ones, Haskin says, adding, "Crinkle some paper and he'll come jogging across his paddock to you."

Photo: Steve Haskin

Steve Haskin, senior correspondant for The Blood-Horse, provides an update on Paynter's recovery at Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center. Share your thoughts on Steve's blog at

As the morning sun burned through the dense fog that had enshrouded the Fair Hill training center (in Elkton, Md.), 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 (on Oct. 15) 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 (Thoroughbred trainer) 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.

Originally published on

About the Author

Steve Haskin

Steve Haskin is Senior Contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine, sister publication to The Horse.

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