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Friday, June 29, 2012

Equine Laminitis Update: Belknap's Summary of Basic Facts

Laminitis terminology suggested by Dr Belknap in this article
A laminitis word cloud made from the words in this article. A lot of words and a lot of ideas circulate the world when it comes to preventing, treating and /or understanding laminitis. But what do we really know?
Laminitis: what does that word mean to you? Do you think you know all about it, or does hearing the very word have you shaking your head over all we just don't know.

The recent--and some would say long overdue--expansion in laminitis research has spawned a generation of geeks who can speak the lingo and conject about the future. Their ideas are exciting--but what do we really know about laminitis, and how much more do we know that a year ago, or ten years ago? 


Is it possible to find a cure for something you don't understand?

Dr. James Belknap, a leading laminitis researcher, recently wrote this succinct summary of what laminitis is, based on the few facts he and his researcher allies know to be the foundation of the disease. 



It's not far off to say that what he describes here is the laminitis base camp. Research expeditions head out from here. Sherpas lead the way, but it is one step at a time and sometimes bad weather forces an expedition back to the base just when the summit is in sight. Everyone wants to stand at the summit, on top of the world. Getting there has not been easy, but here's what the tents at base camp are built upon.

Laminitis is not a disease of the foot as much as a disease of the horse--yet the foot has a delicate structure--what Dr. Belknap calls "target tissue"--that is incredibly sensitive to changes from the many triggers. And the target tissue gets bullseyed more often than we'd like.

From Dr. Belknap:

Equine laminitis can be a devastating result of many different disease processes in the horse, including, most commonly, sepsis and endocrinopathies. The two primary types of endocrinopathic laminitis are equine metabolic syndrome (seen most often in the obese horse), and Cushing’s syndrome in older horses (characterized by high levels of circulating steroids produced by a pituitary tumor). Interestingly, the “target” tissue in the horse for sepsis, equine metabolic syndrome, and Cushing’s syndrome is the digital laminae.

Most likely the main reason the digital laminae are the primary target is because no other soft tissue structure in species injury/dysfunction will result in the entire collapse of the musculoskeletal system of the animal. The laminar basal epithelial cells are exposed to incredible forces (supporting the entire weight of the horse).

Laminitis researcher James Belknap from Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog/Hoofcare Publishing
Dr. James Belknap is a leading researcher in the pathophysiology of laminitis. He is a professor at
 The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Galbreath Equine Center.


1. Laminitis related to septic conditions

Septic conditions in the horse that can lead to laminitis include gastrointestinal disease (surgical lesions, diarrhea/enteritis from infectious agents, or carbohydrate overload), retained placenta in the post-foaling broodmare leading to a uterine infection, pleuropneumonia, and any other infection in which enough tissue is compromised to result in systemic effects.

In most of these cases, toxins absorbed from Gram-negative bacteria are thought to be responsible for the systemic problems such as laminitis. However, bacterial infections from other types of organisms can also result in laminitis. Most progress has been made in studying sepsis-related laminitis, as most experimental models for laminitis mimic this condition.

Systemic inflammation leading to inflammatory injury to the laminar tissue has been reported in sepsis-related laminitis in horses. In the laminae, this injury is characterized by adhesion and migration of circulating white blood cells out of the blood vessels into the laminar tissue. This is accompanied by massive increases in expression of inflammatory proteins such as cytokines (a 10-fold to > 2,000 fold increase in expression) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX -2, the enzyme which is targeted by non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone or flunixin).

Plastinated equine hoof specimen demonstrating laminitis damage Christoph von Horst and Hoofcare Publishing
Research attempts to sort out not only what happens, but when it happens,
to cause the horse's hoof to experience the freefall of chronic laminitis,
Plastinated hoof tissue courtesy of HC Biovision/Dr Christoph von Horst

2. Laminitis related to Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Equine Cushing Syndrome

These events most likely cause injury to the laminar basal epithelial cells, leading to disruption of their critical cellular events, including adhesion to the underlying matrix. The matrix itself may also be injured by the release of matrix-degrading enzymes by leukocytes, epithelial cells, and other cell types in the laminae.

Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), which includes pasture-associated laminitis, is now the most common type of laminitis reported by veterinarians. Although the animals affected are commonly obese, animals in “show shape” that are not overtly obese also succumb to EMS-related laminitis.

A consistent factor in the horse or pony with EMS is insulin resistance, with the animals usually exhibiting increased circulating insulin concentrations. It has been suspected that laminar injury in EMS was from an inflammatory event as discovered in sepsis-related laminitis. However, recently presented data indicate that the high circulating insulin concentration itself can induce laminitis, with limited evidence of inflammation in the laminae.

The other type of endocrinopathic laminitis, Equine Cushing Syndrome (ECS), may have a pathophysiologic mechanism similar to that of EMS, as ECS horses similarly have high levels of circulating insulin. However, it is possible that the glucocorticoids (GCs) may be playing a role in disruption of the cell biology of the laminar keratinocytes in ECS.

3. Laminitis related to weightbearing (“supporting limb laminitis”)

The pathophysiology of supporting limb laminitis, the type suffered by Barbaro, is the type of laminitis about which we presently have the least knowledge. With this type, excessive weight bearing (usually due to a painful injury on the opposite limb) results in laminar failure. The recent interest supporting limb laminitis has resulted in several studies being funded by equine foundations.

Hopefully, these studies will further elucidate the pathologic mechanisms (and thus therapeutic targets) for this equally devastating form of laminitis. Thus, laminitis is likely the end product of a diverse array of disease processes that lead to disruption and failure of a highly evolved cell type that is exquisitely sensitive to injury—the laminar basal epithelial cell.

James Belknap, DVM, PhD, DACVS is Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences from The Ohio State University Galbreath Equine Center and a leading researcher in the pathophysiology of laminitis. He shared this succinct summary of the current knowledge based on the types of laminitis via the Equine Disease Quarterly of the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center.

Equine Hoof Wall Anatomy Lisa Lancaster Hoofcare Publishing
Easy online ordering and immediate shipping of our award-winning anatomy poster

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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 digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Veterinary and Farrier Federations Join Forces to Promote Best Practices for Equine Welfare Across Europe

The Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations (FEEVA) and the European Federation of Farriers Associations (EFFA) have joined forces to promote best practices in farriery across Europe.

The initiative, according to a press release issued today, is the result of recognition by both organizations that "equine welfare is best served with the use of only properly trained farriers, working closely with veterinary surgeons as and when needed."

Professor Slater of the
Royal Veterinary College (UK)
The main aims of the new partnership include:
  • Improving the welfare of the horse by encouraging the highest standards of hoof trimming and shoeing by means of a certified farrier;
  • Encouraging close working between farriers and veterinary surgeons on the therapeutic treatment of horses’ hooves; and
  • Encouraging the education of the horse-owning public to make use of certified farriers who guarantee the art and science of farriery.
The President of FEEVA, Professor Josh Slater of Great Britain was quoted as saying: “We look forward to working together at European level and encouraging member associations to do the same at national level, with the primary intention of enhancing equine health through first-class farriery.”

FEEVA and EFFA have 17 and 15 member nations, respectively. EFFA was formed in Paris in 1997 while FEEVA was created in Strasbourg in 1998.

EFFA sanctions the Europe-wide qualification of "Certified Euro-Farrier" as announced by Hoofcare and Lameness in 2008. Some individual nations have designations of qualifications as well.

Certified Euro Farrier statistics for Europe at the end of 2011 were: Austria 58; Czech Republic 8; Denmark 115; Finland 78; Germany 108; Netherlands 261; Spain (Catalonia) 8; Sweden 17; Switzerland 87; and United Kingdom 29, for a total of 769 qualified Euro Farriers across the continent.

In late 2011, EFFA also approved the Irish Farrier Education and Qualification Program for Euro Farrier designation.

In most EFFA member countries, farriery is regulated; only France and the Czech Republic have advanced farriery to a protected professional level. Only one member nation, Hungary, has no regulation of the practice of farriery.

Photo of Professor Slater is from the Hoofcare + Lameness Journal archives.



© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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 digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
 
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tennessee Walking Horse Pastern Action Devices and Hoof Pads Ban Endorsed by AVMA, AAEP; Vets' Joint Memo States Devices Are Part of Soring Practices

Walking horse hoof packages include some or all of these components: (from ground up) 1. a shoe on the ground; 2. a stack of pads anchored by a double-nail pad system; 3. a hose clamp that secures the pad package around the hoof wall; 4. pastern action devices, usually chains or beads. The pastern and sole are the focus of soring methods to inflict pain so that the horse doesn't want to keep either front foot on the ground for long. The heavy pad-shoe combo exaggerates the flight of the foot through the air. In 1985, the USDA proposed to ban pads but the ban didn't last. (Hoofcare + Lameness file photo)
The following is a position statement received from the AVMA and AAEP today. Soring is prohibited under the Horse Protection Act, a federal law enforced by the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS)

June 14, 2012 - The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) today called for a ban on the use of action devices and performance packages in the training and showing of Tennessee Walking Horses.

These devices and packages are implicated in the practice of soring, which is the abusive act of intentionally inflicting pain to accentuate a horse’s gait.

"Soring has been an illegal act for more than 40 years. Nevertheless, increasingly shrewd and more difficult to detect—yet equally painful—methods of soring continue to plague the Walking Horse Industry," said Dr. René A. Carlson, President of the AVMA.

Championship Night
Walking horse shows such as The Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee attract large,
enthusiastic crowds. (Photo via
Stephanie Graves.


"America's veterinarians are asking USDA-APHIS to prohibit the use of action devices and performance packages in the training and showing of Walking Horses, because they appear to be facilitating soring," Dr. Carlson added.

"The soring of Tennessee Walking Horses is an extremely abusive practice and it must end," said AAEP President Dr. John Mitchell. "We urge a modification to the Horse Protection Act so that all action devices and performance packages are banned."

Following is the veterinary groups' joint position statement:

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners support a ban on the use of action devices and performance packages in the training and showing of Tennessee Walking Horses.

Walking_horse
A natural-type Walking horse without hoof buildup or
action devices. Image courtesy of eXtensionHorses
and Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky
Action devices used in the training and showing of Tennessee Walking Horses include chains, ankle rings, collars, rollers, and bracelets of wood or aluminum beads. When used in conjunction with chemical irritants on the pastern of the horse’s foot, the motion of the action device creates a painful response, resulting in a more exaggerated gait.

Foreign substances are being detected on the pastern area during pre-show inspections at an alarmingly high rate, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. While there is little scientific evidence to indicate that the use of action devices below a certain weight are detrimental to the health and welfare of the horse, banning action devices from use in the training and showing of Tennessee Walking Horses reduces the motivation to apply a chemical irritant to the pastern.

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the national governing body for equestrian sport in the United States, disallows action devices in the show ring for all recognized national breed affiliates. The AVMA and the AAEP commend the USEF for this rule and urge the USDA-APHIS to adopt similar restrictions for Tennessee Walking Horses.

The walking horse exaggerated walk has been popular for at least 50 years;
this horse
competed in the Walking Horse Celebration in the 1960s. Roy
Rogers' famous horse Trigger was a Tennessee Walking Horse.
(Hoofcare + Lameness archives)


Performance packages (also called stacks or pads), made of plastic, leather, wood, rubber and combinations of these materials, are attached below the sole of the horse’s natural hoof and have a metal band that runs around the hoof wall to maintain them in place.

Performance packages add weight to the horse’s foot, causing it to strike with more force and at an abnormal angle to the ground. They also facilitate the concealment of items that apply pressure to the sole of the horse’s hoof. Pressure from these hidden items produces pain in the hoof so that the horse lifts its feet faster and higher in an exaggerated gait.

Because the inhumane practice of soring Tennessee Walking Horses has continued 40 years after passage of the Horse Protection Act, and because the industry has been unable to make substantial progress in eliminating this abusive practice, the AVMA and the AAEP believe a ban on action devices and performance packages is necessary to protect the health and welfare of the horse.

--end of announcement

Hoof Blog note: It should be clarified that Walking horses are not governed by USEF rules. Other "action" breeds such as the American Saddlebred, Hackney, and National Show Horse are governed by USEF rules.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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 digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Farrier Axes Out in Force at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Parade


Only a few people in the world noticed them. They were at the back of the column. Only they had black plumes on their helmets. Only they carried big bad farrier axes instead of lances.

Only they made the Hoof Blog.

They were, are and possibly always will be the farriers of the Household Cavalry, stationed at Hyde Park Barracks in inner London. The unit serves the Queen and the farriers serve the unit's horses.

The Household Cavalry of Buckingham Palace requires the services of no less than 11 farriers, plus the regiment's Farrier Major, Staff Corporal Neil Sherlock, who oversees his men's work on 120 horses per week.

One of the interesting aspects of the job is that they don't enter the military as farriers. They may be sent to Afghanistan or any number of assignments in the military world. When they rotate through London, they all ride. Some are interested and step forward to start farrier apprenticehips, but they already know how to ride.

Part of the duty of farriers is not to just stay in the forge and work hard, but to stay in training as riders as well so that they can accompany their regiment in their ceremonial role as carriers of the axes. The pole axes were used to lop off the feet of fallen horses after battles--the feet have numbers burned into them for inventory control purposes. You can imagine what the spike was for.

The farrier's ax has been featured on The Hoof Blog quite a bit--we followed it during the Royal Wedding last spring and watched one being restored at the Army Museum for the War Horse exhibit there.

We've seen quite a bit of interest in the ax--and not just from farriers. The world wants to know more about the ax and the men who carry them: when was the last time one was used? how do they decide how many axes are needed? Who shaprens the ax?

I can't answer your questions but I will try to find someone who can if you keep sending them in.

Photo kindly loaned by Alexandra Wade, a London-based photographer who thinks of this blog whenever she hears hoofbeats on the street--and has taken some spectacular photos for us!

To learn more:


Why Is That Guy Following Prince William and Kate Middleton Carrying a Big Shiny Ax? Because He's the Farrier, That's Why!

Farrier's Ax: A Museum Restores a Gruesome Tool of Mercy Designed to End the War for Horses




© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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 digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Silent Anvil: Horseshoers Like Dave Reed

Anvil

There's a silent anvil here in Massachusetts today. The anvil belonged to farrier Dave Reed of Brimfield. You probably didn't know Dave, but then again, maybe you did. Or maybe you know someone a lot like him.

This article is my way of saying good-bye to Dave, and tipping my hat to horseshoers like him. They're out there. But they're disappearing from the back roads every day. Soon they might all be gone, unless we realize what they had to teach us. A lot of farriers I know who are working now chose the profession because they had been around horseshoers like Dave Reed.

I met Dave back in the early 1980s. Dave was one of a whole legion of farriers in that era who had come back from Vietnam and found their places behind the wheel of a rattley pickup truck. It probably had a dog in the passenger seat. Horseshoers like Dave Reed would always have a good story about how that dog got there.

Being a horseshoer worked out really well for a lot of those veterans, especially when they kept to the back roads in the small towns, away from the big stables and show barns. They could keep their own hours, and be their own employers. There weren't many rules and their biggest competitor was in the mirror, as the profession by the time I came along was changing and demanding that they up their skills--or lose out to someone with a shinier truck, a bigger belt buckle and a better sales pitch.

But back then, there were few books, few classrooms, the tests were optional and horseshoers like Dave Reed could always pack up and move to Vermont or Maine or Montana. A lot of them did.

There was a time when farriers didn't need or want to know how to make roadster shoes. They didn't need letters after their names. They didn't carry briefcases and they couldn't spell or pronounce arteriovenous anastomoses or care what it meant.

Horseshoers like Dave Reed didn't go to many clinics. When they did it, they could sense B.S. by the second slide and I used to smile when I'd see them get up and leave. "Aw, there was nothing there for me," they'd tell me later. I knew what they meant, because I'd catch on by the fourth or fifth slide and I'd be right behind them.

But horseshoers like Dave Reed would come around and stand rooted to the spot when someone like Bob Skradzio was giving a clinic. They'd say it was because he didn't show slides but I knew it was because his handshake was just as strong as theirs, and because he looked them in the eye.

Horseshoers like Dave Reed were the last ones to take the coal forges out of their trucks, and they don't hang up on the people who call looking for help with two-year-old drafts or the rank ones no one else wants to shoe. They shrug. Smoke cigarettes. And somehow get it done, even if it's not pretty.

You don't want to cross horseshoers like Dave Reed. They can have pretty thin skin sometimes. And speaking of skin, their tattoos are the real kind, with anchors or eagles, and you know they got them in places like Bangkok but they never will get around to telling you what the tattoos mean. Or what really happened the night they got those tattoos.

Horseowners would tolerate their erratic schedules because they knew that horseshoers like Dave Reed might not show up when they wanted them but would when they needed them. If their barns burned down or they had a child in the hospital or a horse was injured in a trailer wreck, these are the guys who would show up and probably forget to leave a bill. Even if they didn't shoe there anymore. I've seen it happen.

Horseshoers like Dave Reed don't hold much stock in horse whisperers. What they do is more like a growl but the horses seem to understand. It's hard to fool a horse. They know that. 

Sometimes I think what's wrong with the horse world today is that we've forgotten that being a farrier shouldn't require a business background or a pile of impressive references or a brand new truck or a last name that is a dynasty at the anvil. The job takes character.

The most successful farriers I know seem to be the ones who are characters...and who have character, too. Lots of it. Because you need it. Some days, more than others. It shows up in the way you treat the horse, the jokes you choose to tell (or not tell) the customer, and the time you take explaining to the kid working the drive-through window what a farrier is.

You can do it without character, of course, but you probably won't thrive. You'll always be making more rules and upping your prices and changing your clients and buying new tools. It might be years until you figure out that you need to relax and let the job change you. You can't do much to change the job.

I never actually saw Dave Reed shoe a horse, that I recall. I don't have any shoes he made hanging on the wall. He never wrote an article for or with me. But he never let me down because all Dave Reed ever was was exactly who he was: a horseshoer. A character. And a friend.

Most of the time, I find that all three of those things come together naturally in one package. I hope it always will be that way.

Photo credit: An anvil in the woods would suit horseshoers like Dave Reed. Photo by Jake Matthews.

 © Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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 digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Camelot's Epsom Derby Victory Footnote: American Farrier Jeff Henderson

C A M E L O T

Trainer: Irish 
Foaled in: Great Britain
Bred by: Bahrain's prince
Owners: Irish/British
Jockey: Irish
Exercise rider: Japanese
Sire: French-trained
Grandsire: Legendary Australian sire

Farrier: American
Horseshoes: Dutch

The most exciting horse in the world today is not Australia's Black Caviar. It's not American Triple Crown candidate I'll Have Another. It's not even superstar British sprinter Frankel. Move over, Zenyatta and Totilas, there's a new horse in the headlines.

It's a horse with a list of international connections that you'll need the fingers on both your hands to count.

British Triple Crown contender Camelot has a footnote of international interest. The colt has unusual face markings and white untrimmed whiskers on his muzzle. (Photo by Monkeywing)

But when you look at his feet, forget the Irish and English stereotypes. Forget tweed caps and dark, smoky smiddies. Think stars and stripes, wide open spaces, and the Great State of Texas.

Rood + Riddle Equine
Hospital Podiatry Center's
Jeff Henderson CJF
Camelot--just like 2011 Breeders Cup Turf champion St Nicholas Abbey who won the Coronation Cup at Epsom today right after the Derby--has a special hoofcare consultant from the USA. By way of Texas.

Jeff Henderson, a transplanted Texan who continues to flourish as a Kentucky transplant, travels to Ireland to provide specialist services to the Ballydoyle training center of trainer Aidan O'Brien. 

Jeff works with Scott Morrison DVM in the podiatry referral service of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's Podiatry Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

Henderson has become a frequent flyer commuter to Ireland to shoe for O'Brien; he also took over St. Nicholas Abbey, who had been worked on in the past by Morrison, and also worked on Kentucky Derby starter Daddy Long Legs, among others.

Jeff said that Camelot's hoofcare needs were simple; Camelot is shod with Kerckhaert raceplates--no glue, no patches.

Ballydoyle employs two full-time farriers in addition to Henderson and Morrison's consulting services.

Today's stunning win of the famed Epsom Derby in England means that three-year-old Thoroughbred Camelot has won 2/3 of the British Triple Crown. 

St Nicholas Abbey
St Nicholas Abbey on his way to victory in the Coronation Cup. (Photo by Monkeywing)
It's been 34 years since a horse has won the Triple Crown in the USA. I'll Have Another is 2/3 of the way there this year, and goes for the big honor a week from today at New York's Belmont Park.

But in England, the drought has been even longer; no horse has won the Triple Crown there since Nijinsky won the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and the St Leger in 1973. Camelot may attempt the crown, or his owners and trainer might choose other options.

Camelot is trained by Aiden O'Brien at Coolmore's Ballydoyle training center in Ireland, where footnotes to victories abound. A special aspect to his victory today is that he was ridden by O'Brien's teenage son, Joseph.

The victories by Camelot and St Nicholas Abbey are especially sweet for Coolmore; both winners are  by their late, great stud Montjeu, who became ill and was euthanized this spring at the age of 16 after siring (so far) four winners of the Epsom Derby.

To increase the international connections of Camelot, his lineage goes back to the great Hungarian mare of the 1870s, Kincsem, undefeated in 54 starts, including major events in Austria, Hungary, Germany, France and England, according to the experts at pedigreeconsultants.com.

In basic American breeding terms that US Hoof Blog readers and Thoroughbred racing fans can celebrate, Camelot is from the European continuation of Canada's Northern Dancer's dynasty on the sire side and Kentucky's Mr. Prospector line on his dam's side.

Horse behavior observers may have noticed that Camelot wore the comforting Monty Roberts-designed "barrier blanket" into the starting gate yesterday. His sire, Montjeu, had to be ridden into the paddock by his groom, according to Thoroughbred Daily News.

The horse's name reflects much more than a famous Broadway musical; Camelot was the legendary mythical kingdom of Britain's King Arthur and his knights.


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© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. 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 digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to blog@hoofcare.com.  


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.