The drama surrounding 2009 Preakness winner and Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra's recent health scare took another turn Thursday when PETA called for her retirement from the breeding shed.
In a press release, PETA announced the group had sent a letter to Rachel Alexandra's owner, Barbara Banke, encouraging her to retire the horse from life as broodmare.
"Surely, after earning more than $3 million for Stonestreet Farm, Rachel Alexandra deserves to live a long, peaceful life free of the risk of more frightening injuries," said PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. "PETA hopes that Stonestreet Farm will agree that Rachel Alexandra's well-being is more important than her value as a broodmare."
The group pointed to foaling complications Rachel's dam, Lotta Kim, experienced, as well as the complications of other notable broodmares, as reasons to retire Rachel from the breeding shed. They also mentioned the plight of nurse mares and their foals in the Thoroughbred breeding industry.
Stonestreet Farm has not announced plans for Rachel Alexandra upon her recovery. At this time, the farm is keeping fans updated on the champion's progress with weekly reports. Dr. Brett Woodie, who performed the abdominal surgery on Rachel, calls her recovery "better than expected."