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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Work and Play for Noted Veterinarian During Saratoga Visit

Linda and Dr. Frank Gravlee say hello to Rags to Riches at Todd Pletcher's barn. Note the strategically placed hay that prevents me from documenting her feet for you.

It was Alabama Stakes week at Saratoga, so Hoofcare and Lameness Journal made sure that someone from Alabama was on hand. Veterinarian and nutritionist Frank Gravlee, founder of Life Data Labs and inventor of Farriers Formula, enjoyed a hero's welcome, as did his wife, Linda, who is CEO of Life Data.

The Gravlees were featured in an article in Thoroughbred Times this summer for their innovative research on Thoroughbred nutrition at their research farm in Alabama. The Gravlees well-bred mares have foals by stallions like Distorted Humor, Royal Academy, and Posse at their sides. One of the foals' first lessons is how to stand still on a horse scale; they are monitored carefully and the mares' feed is scientifically formulated, measured, and administered. The farm's yearlings are headed to Keeneland next month to be sold.

Part of the Gravlees' whirlwind tour of Saratoga was a speaking engagement for Dr. Frank at our Hoofcare@ Saratoga event. After the lecture, Dr. Frank signed copies of his new book, co-authored with Dr Doug Butler, Laminitis and Founder: Prevention and Treatment.

Everyone in Saratoga was very welcoming to the Gravlees. Of course it didn't hurt that the Farriers Formula tractor-trailer rig had been stuck in traffic on Union Avenue outside the racetrack a few days before they arrived. It was just setting the stage!

However, the visit to Saratoga was related to Dr. Gravlee's research into laminitis and equine nutrition, and the publication of the book, rather than to a promotional push for the company.

Dr. Frank Gravlee stopped in the midst of his autograph party to chat with Diane and Curtis Burns. They market the Burns Polyflex shoe (, which Curtis designed, worn recently by winning stakes horses like River's Prayer, Octave, Teuflesberg, and Zanjero. Curtis is a flying farrier who pops up everywhere.

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