Rege Dvorsky’s Collection Pass is recovering from surgery this morning after slicing into his right front fetlock joint while running the Advanced cross country at MCTA Horse Trials in Cockeysville, Md., yesterday. Kate Chadderton re-routed “Cole” for a confidence-building run at MCTA after they parted ways at the big ditch and wall at Rolex, and everything seemed to be going according to plan until she came off course and saw blood running down his fetlock.
“Rolex was my fault,” Kate said. “I just missed at a jump that was too big to miss at. MCTA is a local event for me. I know the course there very well, so I wanted to canter him around the Advanced to make sure he was still confident. My idea was to take him back to Bromont next month, and he felt really good.” Then she saw the blood on his fetlock. “We cleaned it up and iced him, and as soon as we finished icing him, he was so lame he couldn’t put any weight on it. I lifted his foot up and joint fluid came out, it was obvious that it was very serious.”
Kate immediately called Dr. Liz Klebe, the associate on call to her vet Dr. Cooper Williams, right out to the scene at MCTA, and she arrived within minutes, sedating Cole and x-raying the leg. Dr. Klebe used dye to confirm that Cole had cut deeply into the fetlock joint, and Kate then loaded him up and shipped to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., which is right on the way back to Kate’s farm in Woodbine, Md.
Cole went straight into surgery with Dr. James Brown. “I was lucky enough to be able to watch the surgery,” Kate said. “It took about an hour, and they did a lot of cleaning it out making sure there was no debris left in there. I think I know when it happened. You can feel when they overreach, and he didn’t take a bad step. He didn’t show any signs of pain. So we galloped on through the mud and then had the ice boots on him, which are full of contaminants, so they had it clean it out really well. They didn’t find any further damage than had already been found in the initial examination.”
Cole is now recovering at the hospital and will be there through the rest of the week. “The next couple of days are really important because we need to have the infection completely unto control,” Kate said. “If the infection is taken care of, then he’ll be fine. The rest of the damage is repairable.” If he pulls through this week well, Cole will be on two months of stall rest before starting work again.
“Dr. Brown is realistic,” Kate said. “He knows the horse has a job and has to get back to work at some point. As long as he makes it out of the hospital, I’m fine. After that, I’ll figure out what to do.” With her plans of going back to Bromont dashed, Kate would still like to get Cole to a competition in the fall, but she’ll be waiting on him to tell her when he’s ready. In the meantime, she’s grateful everyone acted so quickly to get Cole into surgery.
“He thinks he’s lucky that we take the time to help him,” Kate said. If he could speak, he would tell us to just keep doing whatever we were doing and come back to him when or if we had time. He wouldn’t want to put us out. If he could drive himself to the hospital so we didn’t have to, he would. He really is the sweetest guy.”