Many of the people who read this blog would be just as happy being backstage at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington this fall as they would be with front row seats. I know you'd all like to analyze how the grooms tack up the horses, watch the physiotherapists work on muscles, peer over the shoulders of the farriers and try to read the minds of the veterinarians during the trot-up for the eventing. Of course we all hope that no horses are injured or become sick during the Games but if that happens...the bases are very well-covered.
To explain, here are some insights to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's role as the Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Partner for the Games. First of all, Rood and Riddle is one of the leading equine veterinary medical centers in the United States and the world, and its location in Lexington is serendipitous to insuring the finest possible care for any veterinary needs that arise for horses at the Games. Rood and Riddle is located on a college-campus style setting and attracts horses of all breeds for referral surgery and medical treatments. The hospital currently employs 50 veterinarians and 200 support staff.
Rood and Riddle will work closely with Dr. Kent Allen, the official veterinary coordinator of the Games. Dr. Chris Newton, a veterinarian and partner at RoodandRiddleand avid equestrian and eventing competitor, heads the RoodandRiddle team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians assembled to provide medical support to the Games.
When the hundreds of equine athletes and demonstration horses arrive in Kentucky from all over the world, their handlers will pay close attention to how well they have survived the stress of travel and how they settle in to their new surroundings. Should any medical needs be found, the horsemen and their equine charges will have access to one of the most extensive arrays of advanced veterinary services available at a competition. In addition to the Horse Park's temporary on-site veterinary clinic that will provide 24-hour care ( ranging from basic medical treatment to high-level diagnostics), the RoodandRiddle Equine Hospital is less than six miles away. The hospital will be staffed and ready, prepared as always, to address any emergency or injury in need of specialized medical care.
During the Games, a minimum of six RoodandRiddle veterinarians with numerous veterinary technician assistants will be on-site daily at the Kentucky Horse Park. During the more taxing competitions, such as Eventing Cross-Country, Endurance, and the Driving Marathon, the veterinary staff will increase with additional support from the RoodandRiddle medicine and surgery specialists at the on-site veterinary clinic.
In addition to the RoodandRiddle veterinarians, every National Federation will send a minimum of one team veterinarian. The Federation ??questre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of equestrian sport, will also have veterinarians in attendance. The FEI veterinarians? primary function is to ensure that all rules are being followed, allowable medications are administered correctly and the horse's welfare is placed above the competition.
The Rood and Riddle Pavilion at the Alltech Experience
One of the most exciting aspects of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games for Rood and Riddle is the opportunity to educate the world about the hospitaland the advances in equine veterinary medicine. WEG attendees will find the Roodand Riddle Pavilion, located within the Alltech Experience compound, to be a must-see destination on their tour of the extensive exhibit areas at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The pavilion (design plan at right) will provide an educational experience for young and old with multiple interactive stations and video displays covering the latest veterinary technology including diagnostic imaging, equine medicine and surgery, and stem cell therapy.
Visitors can use touch screen controls to choose which type of horse they would like to see on a treadmill followed by the endoscopic view of the throat, use an ultrasound probe on a phantom uterus to locate a pregnancy, and see an actual surgery table anesthesia machine set up complete with a 900-pound model of an equine patient in position and ready for surgery.
The pavilion also includes a theater section where daily lectures will be presented by Roodand Riddle veterinarians and other equine professionals including Hall of Fame jockeys and World Games competitors.
Rood and Riddle Hospital Tours During WEG
RoodandRiddle is also hosting tours at the hospital, Monday through Friday, at 10am and 12pm during the Games. Tours are by reservation only and may be booked at www.HorseCapitalTours.com. Tickets are $12.95 per person (ticket required for children age five and up; strollers not permitted) with $5 from every ticket purchase going to the Kentucky Equine Humane Center and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation.
After years of planning and anticipation for the big event, our friends at RoodandRiddle are ready and say that they are honored to participate in this extraordinary event. They're eager to see World Champions crowned in eight disciplines. So let the Games begin!