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FRIENDS and fans of Captain Al are anxiously awaiting news after the 2014/15 Champion Sire underwent surgery at Drakenstein Veterinary Clinic on Tuesday, 11 July 2017.

Stallion Manager John Freeman explained, “Captain Al has a habit of kicking at fresh air in his paddock. A while ago he connected one of the paddock railings. He developed a lameness and a fracture was suspected. He was taken to hospital for X-rays which showed that there was fortunately no damage to the bone. However, he developed a large oedema in his leg and groin area and it turned out he had very severely pulled a muscle in his groin.”

Captain Al’s injury was treated aggressively with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, but when he started struggling to weight bear on the affected leg, they took him back to the hospital. It was discovered that he had developed laminitis and that the pedal bone had rotated, so a decision was made to operate. The hoof capsule was removed and a weight bearing cast connected to his cannon bone to support the leg while the hoof regrows. Although it’s by no means an unusual procedure, Captain Al turns 21 this year, a factor which increases the risk of surgery.

John continues, “It’s very emotional because we are all very much in love with him and of course we all want to do our best to try and save him. John Koster was sufficiently encouraged by the vets to give it a go and we have every faith in Dr Andrew Gray and the Drakenstein Veterinary Clinic medical team. Our thanks to everyone who has rung, emailed, messaged and kept Captain Al and the Klawervlei Team in their thoughts and prayers.”