Nicky Henderson has given an update on Buveur D’Air who is to undergo surgery to remove a chunk of wood from his foot.
The dual Champion Hurdle sustained his injury during his bid to win a third straight Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, but is unlikely to run again this season.
Speaking to Luck On Sunday, the Lambourn trainer said:
“It is so freak it is not possible to even think how you could even do it.
He had a great wedge of wood sticking out and that has gone in through the top of the coronet band, right underneath the hoof.
“It is rather like a rather large splinter underneath your nail and it is very, very sore.
“The good news is that the coffin joint hasn’t been touched or affected in any way.
“So now it is just a matter of getting this piece of wood out from under his hoof. But they are going to have to open the hoof to let it come out. It is the only way.
“They hope that they can do this without a general anaesthetic. Then it is a matter of how long it takes for the hoof to grow back over which will undoubtedly take some considerable time.
“Nobody is even talking about when, what or where. He is obviously comfortable as it has been anaesthetised and we know he is in safe hands. The only thing that is important is him and to eliminate pain. He is not feeling a lot at the moment and they can do the surgery standing up.
“So if all goes well through the next 24 hours then we are through the worst of it and then it is to control infection and concentrate on getting the hoof to grow back.”
Asked about Buveur D’Air’s prospects of racing again this term, Henderson said:
“I think this season is going to be a grey area and for another fortnight we probably won’t know. I think this season could be pretty slim. First of all is to get him back in good shape and then discuss the long-term future.”
The trainer later added in his Unibet blog:
“Buveur D’Air has undergone surgery by my vet David Mathieson and his team at Donnington Grove in Newbury to remove the piece of wood which had gone through the coronet band and into his hoof. The wall of the hoof had to be opened up to do this but as a consequence we now have to wait for the foot to grow back together again which could take some time to heal. The procedure went well this morning and they were able to do it without having to put him under a general anaesthetic which can sometimes cause problems when the horse comes round and they can often fall when attempting to get back up, but thankfully the removal was conducted with him standing up.
“The important thing is that he hasn’t damaged his coffin joint which could have very nearly been career ending or worse so that is a huge relief and we have a lot to be thankful for as things could have been much, much worse. Buveur D’Air’s welfare and health is of paramount importance and I simply cannot speculate as to how long it will take to get him back and if/when his next race will be. This in an injury which will not be resolved overnight so we will assess the situation on a day to day basis but he is in extremely safe hands and will get the best treatment he can. It’s a terrible shame for everyone concerned including Hannah Ryan who absolutely adores him and she has barely left his side. Thankfully he is in no pain as it’s very much like a human nail in the fact that he now has a great big hole in his foot (like a human’s nail) which needs to bind together and heal. As ever I will keep you all updated best I can in this blog.”