Oct 11, 22 on - Gunner Needs Life-Saving Surgeries

Hello Friends! 

My name is Gunner, aka Gierhardt. I am a Thoroughbred racehorse, that is, I once was a racehorse until my accident. I was just 3 years old, hadn’t even participated in many races, when I suffered a near fatal head injury while running loose on the backside of Finger Lakes Racetrack in Farmington, NY. This happened during the pre-dawn hours of October 18, 2021. I had just finished an invigorating swimming session when I somehow got away from my person and started running back to my barn, alone. This was a new experience for me and it felt great to be loose and free on my own! That is, until I accidentally and abruptly ran into the large metal manure bin outside my barn. I was running so fast & missed turning into the barn. I slid and crashed head-on fracturing a large portion of my facial bones. On November 28, after unsuccessful attempts to superficially close the wound, I was relinquished to Dr. Ohlinger & transferred to Cornell University Equine Hospital in Ithaca, NY for evaluation. I’ve been being cared for and living on her farm in Burdett, NY since December 1, 2021. Veterinarians & students at Cornell had never seen such an extensive head injury as mine and knew it would require a long period of recovery, at least 12-18 months, with several surgeries toward the end before the wound would be healed. When I arrived here, eating grain with difficulty was all I could do. Hay was out of the question and as a result I was at least 200# underweight, heading into a long, cold winter. I gradually improved, in body, mind and spirit, under her watchful care, spending hours tending to my wound which required cleaning and bandage changes every few days to the point where we are now. By my 6 week recheck I had already gained 100#! much to the surprise of everyone at Cornell. By now I was somewhat of a celebrity in the clinic! We’re now at the point where the cost of continued care is going to be quite substantial, needing financial support from more generous folks other than my caregiver, who has supported me on her own to this point. I just returned from my second recheck where a thorough, diagnostic exam including sinus radiographs was performed. My body has healed as far as it can on its own. It’s now time for the surgical interventions to begin if enough monies can be raised to cover the estimated costs of approximately $15,000 for 5-6 procedures, over a period of 6-8 months or more. Once I’m all recovered I’ll be looking for a new home to carry on with my new owner and I am sincerely looking forward to those days ahead! I’m a big beautiful friendly boy, over 16h, drop-dead gorgeous steel gray gelding and I love people! and other horses. I am blind in my left eye as a result of the accident but I get around just fine running the fields with my friends.
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Organizer

Dr. Margaret Ohlinger 
Organizer
Ithaca, NY

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