For Rothfire, the Group 1 Golden Rose, back on September 26, was meant to be the final stepping-stone towards participation in $14 million The Everest three weeks later … but the Queensland star suffered a serious injury in the running of that race.
Fracturing his sesamoid brought Rothfire’s burgeoning career to a gut wrenching, grinding halt. One minute Rothfire seemed to have the racing world at his feet. The next minute all of those dreams were dashed and his future was suddenly solely focussed on recovery from that injury, which required surgery, far away from big race glitter and glamour.
That is how Rothfire found his way to Emeran Park, a specialist equine care facility set in the rolling hills of the Dooralong Valley on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Rothfire’s rehabilitation is following a long road, but, happily, things are going as well as they can under the circumstances as indicated by the progressive updates that Shannon Betts … the owner and founder of Emeran Park … who manages Rothfire’s rehab, has been happy to supply.
Back in mid-October, Betts reported, “He (Rothfire) is doing really, really well in his rehab He is ticking along nicely. He had his suture removed and that was uneventful. The surgery site … there is a little bit of filling there that you get normally post operatively, but I pleased with it.
“He is very comfortable. His temperatures have all been normal. There is no discharge, so I’m very pleased to report that he is going along very nicely at the moment.
“Without a doubt, he gets the Gold Star for the best patient on farm. He is just such a delight to do anything with. When I change his bandage, he stands there so quietly. He does not put a foot wrong. He is still on box rest and he will need to stay that way for another couple of weeks … but he is very relaxed in his box.
“We started his gentle range of motion exercises. He does that twice a day now and he has been such a good boy doing it.”
Fast forward a month and today Betts had a similar, glowing, updated report on Rothfire’s progress in rehab.
“I actually just put Rothfire back on the treadmill last week … so he has now started his active recovery and has had his first few days on the treadmill. He did it with ease,” said Betts.
“So, to recap, we started with those motion exercises I mentioned … which is just gentle in hand work … very, very gentle flextion. From there we have now progressed to very slow amounts of walking on the treadmill.
“The reason we do it on the treadmill is because we can control things easier. If he wants to start jumping and plying around, we can control that and it is much harder for him to do that, whereas if the treatment is in hand, he can get a bit excited.
“You have got to remember that Rothfire has been largely confined to box rest for a fair period of time after surgery and when you are doing that to a thoroughbred that is race fit, as he was, you have to be very careful that you control that energy … but he just continues to display an outstanding temperament.
It obviously certainly does help if the horse is working with you. It makes my job a lot easier. He is making us look good at the moment.
“I am very happy with how the fetlock is looking. Obviously, it is still in the very early stages at the moment and we have that long road ahead of us, but everything has progressed very nicely to date.
“It is still baby-steps, but Rothfire is doing well and he is definitely, definitely making it easier for us because he has just got such a super attitude.
“He is just a special horse!”
Where Rothfire goes long-term in terms of any racing career is still in the lap of the gods.
That doesn’t really matter at this time.
It is just good to know that he is being so well looked after and that his attitude is contributing a great deal to his recovery.
We all just wanted to know that Rothfire is well and getting better … so the news is very good indeed!