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Friday, April 10, 2015

Dr. William Moyer Retires from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine


Dr. William Moyer retired last month after 22 years of service to the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. His writing and speaking on the subject of equine lameness in sport and racehorses, and in particular his interest in the equine foot have made him a frequent subject of Hoofcare and Lameness articles since early days. (TAMU photo)

Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas recently honored William Moyer, DVM with a retirement party. The Hoof Blog pairs some photos from the party with the University's official farewell to Dr. Moyer, who also recently served as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and is a popular lecturer on equine lameness.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Ageless Tahoe Warrior Runs Again: In Shoes, This Time, for Keeneland's New Dirt Track



At some point today, someone in the stands at Keeneland Racecourse is sure to read the fine print in the program and notice that in the second race, there's a 12-year-old horse running in his 96th lifetime start. And if he or she is a savvy horseplayer, they'll put a few dollars on Tahoe Warrior, and cheer him home.

Today is opening day at Lexington, Kentucky's magnificent Keeneland Racecourse. It's raining, and 61 degrees. The track is listed as sloppy and at least some of the turf races are moved to the dirt track.

Yes, to the dirt track.

This is the second meet on Keeneland's new surface. The Polytrack artificial surface was dug up last summer and replaced with "classic" dirt. The prize at the end of the dirt pile was that Keeneland will host the Breeders Cup this fall. And it took a lot of dirt to do it.

Trainer W.W. Rice had ten horses ready to race today, though some may have scratched; he hauled 29 from his farm outside Ocala for the meet. Rice has been featured in this blog many times because he worked Keeneland's Polytrack quite successfully by sending runners out without shoes.

No horse in Rice's stable is better known that Tahoe Warrior, who goes to the post in today's second race. The now-twelve-year-old has a following, but those who followed him because he wore no shoes will see some clinches on his once bare hooves.

Plenty of people think Tahoe Warrior should have been retired a long time ago; Rice says he's waiting for the horse to tell him that he wants to retire. By way of history, Tahoe Warrior's last race on dirt was three years ago, on April 1, 2012, when he finished dead last at Gulfstream for Wayne Rice's sister, Linda Rice.

Tahoe Warrior went with Wayne that summer to Presque Isle in Pennsylvania, with an artificial surface. He won his second race there. In the past three years, he has won $121,520 in 33 starts on synthetic tracks. Without shoes he won nine races, and finished no worse than fourth in 24 of 33 of them. It's safe to say that artificial tracks gave Tahoe Warrior a new lease on life.

Or maybe they even saved his life. He was claimed from Wayne Rice last summer; Rice had to claim him back again.

Tahoe Warrior, like all of Wayne Rice's horses, had to be shod to be sure he could handle the new dirt track. In an interview this week, Rice said that Tahoe Warrior was in fine shape, but that the "firm" new surface at Keeneland put his horses at risk for bruising, so he had shod them all.

It's the end of an era. Not one horse races without shoes today at Keeneland. They are shod for the surface, they are shod for safety, they are shod for traction, protection, whatever reason, but the great experiments are over. 

There's not much to write about but I read the fine print and I saw that name: Tahoe Warrior is still running, and that's always worth a story on The Hoof Blog

If you're able, go to keeneland.com and watch the second race, even a replay. He's number two in the second.

Update: In his first start on dirt in three years, Tahoe Warrior finished last.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is the news service for Hoofcare and Lameness Publishing. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a headlines-link email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dubai World Cup: Will the Dirt Track Renaissance Affect the Shoeing for the World's Richest Race?






It's early morning in Dubai. Meydan Racecourse is preparing for a big day culminating in the world's very richest race. And the favorite is an American horse.

Normally, there wouldn't be anything unusual about that. The race has been won by American stars like Cigar, Silver Charm and Animal Kingdom. But last year, no American contenders were in the race.

Many people believe California Chrome is the favorite because his feet are used to flying through dirt. The other horses' hooves haven't done it, nor have the horses had dirt kicked in their faces. Could they be right?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Michael Wildenstein All-Day Lecture in Vermont on Saturday, March 28



The Vermont Farriers Association invites you to an all-day lecture with farrier educator Michael Wildenstein, CJF, FWCF (Hons) on Saturday, March 28 in the Old Chapel at Castleton State College in Castleton, Vermont.