There are those with speed, fast enough to run a hole in the
wind. There are those with stamina to run all day, all night, for miles
on end. There are those who love to fight, that will make you sit on the edge
of your seat screaming, at the top of your lungs as they make that last desperate
lunge for the wire. Sometimes, you are even lucky enough to see a horse with
all three of those qualities, but rarely do you see a horse with such courage
that he is unbreakable.
We have all followed Paynter’s
saga. The son of Awesome
Again had the talent, but didn’t really put it all together until the Belmont
where he showed his stamina and that gritty determination. It was only too bad
that Union Rags
got the rail, giving him a head advantage at the wire. In the
, he astonished us, showing us speed that we never thought we’d see
again after the retirements of Bodemeister
and I’ll Have Another
. It was
dominant, perfect. We had just seen the horse who could run a hole in the win,
run for miles on end, and had the determination and fight of a hardened war
Then the worst happened. Diagnosed with colitis only a month
after his victory, the colt was taken out of training and was prepped to fight
for a whole new reason, that reason was his life. Colitis kills horses, but
Paynter remained resolute, it seemed he was getting better till more dark news
came to light. The colt had developed a complication called laminitis, another
killer, in three of his four hooves.
With most of the world ready to give up upon hearing this
news the Zayats
did not. They had their team of veterinarians fit Paynter with
three specially designed, supportive casts, on his three afflicted hooves.
Paynter rewarded his connections, simply refusing death. He defeated the
Laminitis, and soon looked to have a strangle hold on the colitis. There was
one problem though. He was still spiking fevers, and with the colitis disappearing,
the cause of the fevers was unknown.
Sent to New Bolton, the colt underwent tests that diagnosed
him with an abscess of the cecum. After undergoing surgery, the colt was
monitored and only a week after the surgery was performed news came from the
Zayats that Paynter had won his war. Paynter could be done fighting, he had won
in the fight for his life.
As if the news wasn’t enough, Zayat announced that after an
approximate 2-3 months of rehab at Fair Hill, his fighter would return to
racing in 2013.
After so many high profile retirements, breakdowns, and
deaths, this is what this sport needs. Fans across America wept for Barbaro
when he lost his fight with Laminitis. Now they have a chance to cheer and celebrate
Paynter’s victory. They have a chance to watch him attempt what many deemed
impossible, as he returns to the track.
Paynter has demonstrated these past few months a great many
things. On the track he showed an abundance of talent and brilliance, but it
was off the track he showed his true fight. Paynter showed that one can
overcome the odds. Paynter showed courage not many humans can even display. He is in his own dimension, he is Paynter, he
is the Unbreakable Horse.