Zayat: Paynter transferring to New Bolton

by | 09.30.2012 | 5:44pm

Zayat Stable's Paynter, the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner who has been battling colitis for more than a month, will be transported from upstate New York to the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in Kennett Square, Pa., on Monday morning for further diagnosis and possible surgery of his gastrointestinal tract.

At New Bolton the 3-year-old colt by Awesome Again will be under the care of Dr. Louise Southwood Parente, DVM, MS, PhD.

Ahmed Zayat, who has provided regular updates on Paynter through his Twitter account (@Jazz3162), spoke on Sunday afternoon with the Paulick Report about the horse's fighting spirit, the “phenomenal” care Paynter has received since Aug. 26 at Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, N.Y., and the recent discovery of a possible abscess on the colon that led to the decision to send him to New Bolton.

“He has been battling two serious illnesses: colitis and laminitis,” Zayat said. “He has actually won a lot of battles, but did not win the war. Paynter has been so courageous, an unbelievable fighter. He really wants to live and has this desire to keep fighting. He's saying ‘Don't give up on me, believe in me,' he gives inspiration to his whole team, and I hope people do not think that is corny or theatrical, because it is true.

“Today, he is bright, alert, playful, happy, and has totally healthy feet (having overcome laminitis). He is turned out every afternoon, he loves eating, loves playing.

“If you didn't know he was sick internally, you would not know anything was bothering him. He is not in pain, not suffering.”

Zayat said until four days ago Paynter had been losing weight; he was down to 912 pounds from about 1,100 pounds when healthy.  “The last four days, with a special nutrition plan designed for him, he has been gaining some of that weight back,” Zayat said.

Despite his improved demeanor and better outward appearance, Paynter's blood work was “mildly abnormal” and his temperature slightly above normal, said Dr. Laura H. Javsicas, VMD, DACVIM, of the Upstate Equine Medical Center. She also said Paynter's GI tract continues to have some signs of inflammation, one of the symptoms of colitis.

During a regular ultrasound last Wednesday, Javsicas said a localized area that is “consistent with infection or devitalized tissue” was detected on the right side of the abdomen that appears to be associated with the large colon. She said it was several centimeters in length.

“The thought is this area is secondary to his original problem,” Javsicas said. “The tissue either got so damaged that a part of it has developed infection or is devitalized secondary to the original colitis.”

“We feel this was good news and bad news,” said Zayat. “The mystery has been revealed of why he has been spiking this low grade fever for some time, on and off. In some ways it is a relief.”

The options were to continue to give antibiotics, which Javsicas said can be a risk to a horse with a sensitive GI tract, or get more aggressive.

Zayat consulted with numerous specialists and determined the best course of action was to transfer Paynter to an equine hospital in the region specializing in internal medicine, either Cornell University or New Bolton. He chose New Bolton, about 6 ½ hours to the south by horse van.

“Dr. Southwood is one of the foremost specialists in colitis, and they have an entire team of internal specialists waiting for him,” said Zayat. “He leaves at 8 a.m. Monday. We believe he is mentally and physically able to stand traveling. He's gained enough weight the last couple of days to ship him. We need to go and see what he has internally.”

Javsicas said the New Bolton team will ultrasound Paynter to make an evaluation and determine whether an exploratory procedure can be done without resorting to anesthetizing the horse for invasive surgery. “There is a chance they can try laparoscopic surgery,” she said, “which means putting a small camera inside the horse while he is standing, allowing direct visualization of the GI tract. The problem with that is sometimes you may not see everything you need to see.”

If laparascopic surgery is not an option, Javsicas said, more invasive surgery, similar to colic surgery, may be required.

“In the big picture,” Javsicas said, “he's shown signs of improvement, but since we found this we want to do everything we can to fix it and get over the hump, have the fastest resolution.”

“I cannot tell you how much appreciation I have for my angel, Dr. Laura, who has done a phenomenal, phenomenal job, to cure Paynter's laminitis, and to get him happy and healthy enough to fight,” Zayat said. “Dr. Laura has shown unbelievable dedication.”

“He has been a great patient,” Javiscas said of Paynter. “He is a very, very tough horse and has been a fighter. He has a reputation for being hard to handle when he is completely healthy, and we have started to see some of that lately. But he's been very cooperative, which has made our job easier.

“Clinically, I am very happy with him,” she continued. “He's sick of getting oral medications. He's been turned out every day, and he's eating and playful. He drags us to the field and is dragging us around the field. He makes us want to keep fighting because he is clearly still fighting.”

  • Barbara

    Such an impressive effort to care for Paynter by all involved. Seems like much useful experience will come out of this case, too. Best of luck and continued good wishes to Paynter at New Bolton. 

  • Delrene22

    Dear Paynter.  Praying for your health and successful surgery ( if needed).  You are such a champion.  We love you very much

  • Don Reed

    Looked at the headline and thought, before I re-read it, “Oh God, that Zayet has fired ANOTHER trainer!”

    Get well, Paynter.  You were the real thing in a year when a lot of pretenders were getting too much attention.

  • Ukdebbo

    Paynter is such a fighter.  He’s been through so much already and I have faith that he’ll get through this too.  I’m still praying for you, Paynter.

  • Oh Sweet Baby Boy, All Of Maine Loves You, we are all praying for you, you Paynter come from good stock, courage and stamina are in your blood…fight fight fight my sweet boy…x0x0x0x0 from Maine

  • Please ask New Bolton to keep all of us Updated as they did with Barbaro. This time the outcome will be different though and Paynter will live a long happy life making plenty of little Paynter colts and fillies for all of us to enjoy <3

  • giftoffaith

    I am so happy to hear news of Paynter. I do not have a twitter account and could find no way get an update. This is so good to hear, I believe Paynter is going to overcome this and go home. God bless him and the wonderful Zayat family. Each update I read from Mr. Zayat, I find so touching, wish there were more like him around. To Paynter, hang in there big guy and keep fighting. I hope we can get updates here  more often, I feel it is almost personal. 

  • Lsbackstage

    Thank you all for the excellent opportunity you are giving this courageous horse…you have gone above & beyond, and Paynter has proven that is is worth your while…now get him completely healthy at New Bolton  !

  • Ida Lee

    I did get nervous with this headline but then this is Paynter we’re talking about. What a fighter!! I’m still worried about him but he’s happy now, he’s going to the the best hospital with the best vets in the country specializing in his particular issues…I would not bet against this inspiring and special boy.

  • AmPugs

    Thank you for the update.  He sure is a fighter.  I hope it works out for him – wishes and prayers to him and his ‘friends’

  • Pat

    Keep fighting Paynter – we are all praying for you and your fantastic owners who never gave up and are still fighting with you!

  • PomDeTerre

    Be strong big boy and know there are a lot of humans praying for you to get well.

  • Vicky Burnham

    Nothing but a steady stream of prayers for this incredible horse!  Please tell me that New Bolton is the one with wake up pool!

  • Anne

      Here is a story in the making for a book or film. This guy has shown us all that, where there is a will there is a way. He might not be out of the woods yet, but he sure has cleared out a few paths towards the light. Good luck handsome boy.

  • Barb McIntosh

    Thanks to the Zayat family and friends for their concern, care and love of Paynter.  My prayers will continue for Paynter’s complete recovery.  May God bless the veternary staff in New York and Pennsylvania.

  • Really????

     Giftoffaith,  You can go to and access an account. then you can follow them right from your computer.  It’s free.

  • Stu

    Paynter you keep fighting boy – you can do this!!!!!

  • Beachy

    He truly is “The People’s Horse”.  And kudos to all the wicked-smart, dedicated, skilled people who have cared for him.  I know all this is very expensive, but also huge pats on the backs to the Zayats for not giving up on Paynter.  If necessary, there is at least one person out here(me!!) willing to donate for Paynter’s care, just to do my part.  Our church prayer chain has prayed for Paynter for weeks.  My kids get out of school each day, and/or “out of the blue” and say, “How’s Paynter?!!”  Please know that he is SOOO loved. 

    Prayers continue as he journeys to New Bolton and undergoes treatment there.  Horse hugs… :-) 

  • Paynter keep up that fighting spirit! Good Luck and lots of prayers to you!

  • James Staples

    Fight on Buddy & may his trip to PA be a safe one…

  • Robyn Hoffmann

    Thank you for posting the update about Paynter, Mr. Paulick.  May Paynter’s abscess be treated successfully.  He’ll be in great hands at New Bolton Centre.  

  • giftoffaith

     Thank you for that info. I have been watching daily for updates on Paynter, now I can follow hos progress. I know this is going to be a wonderful story with a happy outcome. He has shown his awesome determination.

  • Helen

    Our prayers are still with you boy. Let’s kick this, and when its all over I have a couple of really cute follies i would like you to meet.

  • Mary

     I Love  that you said that Paynter was the real thing when  a lot of pretenders were getting too much attention….I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except for I I’ll have  Another…I had/have so much admiration and affection and Faith in Paynter…he is Beautiful, Strong, and Intelligent…and knows what’s going on…Love  Paynter <3 <3 <3 GOD Bless him… GET WELL SWEET  BOY!!! <3

  • Willy Bellmare

    What a great horse to keep fighting. I too do not have twitter so I go to the Polick report daily watching for updates on this special horse and the wonderful loving people who care for him. My prayers to all.

  • Noelle

    Mr. Zayat’s devotion to his wonderful horse is remarkable.  It’s a good story that will get even better when we hear that Paynter has made a full recovery.

  • Convene

    Thanks for the update. I was wondering how he was getting along. Hopefully the new plans will resolve the problem and give this horse a long and happy future. His fighting spirit is a great tribute to his breed. I guess it’s true, isn’t it. Thoroughbreds don’t cry. They go on to finish the race. Including the race for life.

  • DawnP

     Absolutely!  I would like to thank Mr. Zayat for keeping us updated.  Still keeping fingers and toes crossed for a complete recovery.

  • Don Reed

    It really is a reflection on the entire year of 2012 when Paynter, at his best, really could have knocked us off for a loop, a glimmer of which we witnessed in the Haskell.  Instead, and too often this happens, we ended up with what did transpire. 

    I don’t mean to denigrate other horses with the above comment; IHA deserved his praise & then some.  But popularity contests, generally, are deplorable (they introduce a vile element of intimidation; candor is the tragic casualty). 

    Just that to say, in passing & lamentfully, that we – and Paynter and Zayat, especially, Zayat – deserved better.

  • Really????

    Giftoffaith,  once you sign up for the free twitter account,  copy and paste this access for Paynter’s owner zayat.    @Jazz3162

    then you can sign up for other names you want to follow as well. 


    I have read all of the blogs listed below.  There is nothing I can add to the faith and goodness by all. We can only hope and pray for the positive out come. I am proud to see this group of horseman/women put out the positive vibes and feeling for the horse and the wonderful ownership for their struggle along with their fine animal. It is times like this when we need to bond and save the competion for another day. I am so proud to be one of you, your unselfish love and devotion to all concerned.  With all of that said, he must pull through we are ALL behind him. Truly a great horse, with a dynamic owner group. 

  • Yo soy fiesta


    Dig in buddy, we are all pulling and praying for you.

    Mr. Zayat,

    You have forever earned my respect.

    This horse is a special one.

  • Francis Bush

    Paynter seems unfit to race again even if he survives so many health problems. There seems to be a reason for his illness that has been overlooked. He might make a good stud, but he would likely carry along unfavorable genes unless proper diagnosis is made at this time.

  • Mr. Zayat thank you from bottom of my heart. Your a true leader of the sport.

  • Loydbobbie

    We love u paynter. Prayers for all his family and care

  • Vconwicke

    Thank you Zyat family for all that you are doing for your beloved Paynter who continues to be a beautiful and brave racehorse.  I pray for Paynter to return to his former hardy and healthy self.  We continue to be interested in all that happens with Paynter on a daily basis.  Paynter deserves the very best that the world has to offer. 

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