ABOUT REINE DES COEURS
Reine des Coeurs is a beautiful, bay thoroughbred mare by Lion Heart out of Queen of Millbrook. Her name means Queen of Hearts in French.
On July 13, 2011, Reine was racing in an allowance race at Suffolk Downs. She had just won two races in a row, and was the one to beat that day.
Reine sprang from the starting gate, and gave it everything she had as she always did, but that day she finished third, and after the finish line, she took a bad step. The gallant mare, pulled up and stood still holding her left front leg out in front of her. She was splinted, and taken by horse ambulance back to the barn where x-rays revealed that she had fractured both sesamoid bones.
At this point, Reine’s future was uncertain. She would never race again, and her very life was in serious danger. She was taken to New England Equine Clinic in Dover New Hampshire where Dr. Omar Mahar performed a six hour surgery on her to fuse her fetlock joint. The intense surgery repaired her leg with a special plate and ten screws. Reine’s leg was placed in a cast and a special shoe was put on her other leg to help to support her.
The long surgery was only the beginning as it is common for horses to develop complications such as infections and laminitis. Fortunately, Reine was very smart and she spent a lot of time laying down to keep the weight off her legs. She spent about three months in the hospital, and another three months on stall rest as she recovered. Her cast was changed several times, and then she had to wear a bandage with six protective layers that needed to be changed frequently.
Despite her meticulous after care, Reine did develop an infection due to the plate and screws that had been holding her leg together. In order to clear the infection, she had to undergo a second surgery to remove the plate and screws. This was a touchy situation because the fetlock had to first be completely fused.
Fortunately, the second surgery was a success. With time, the infection cleared and the wound healed. Reine is now living happily at Queen of Hearts Thoroughbred Retirement. She runs with energy and grace, she is our inspiration.