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Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Inside Track: Summit Sessions on Shoeing and Surfaces at Next Week's Jockey Club Racehorse Welfare and Safety Meeting

The second Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will be held Monday, March 17, and Tuesday, March 18, at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion.

Most of the topics to be covered will be of great interest to Hoof Blog readers, in particular reports on committee studies of hoof care and horseshoeing, synthetic racetrack surfaces and injuries in racing.

Click here to read a complete press release describing the mission of this meeting and its unique structure for dynamic planning sessions and also visit the Summit's web site, which describes accomplishments of the first Summit, held in October 2006. Several PowerPoint presentations are available at that site's "Presentations" menu for download and study, including Bill Casner's animated slide show on the detrimental effects of toe grabs. (Note: this is a 7 MB PowerPoint file. Download only if you are sure your system is capable.)

Fran Jurga of Hoofcare Publishing will be one of 60 participants in the study groups. Fran joins shoeing and hoof care committee members Bill Casner (chair), Dr. Rick Arthur, Ed Bowen, Bob Curran, Bob Elliston, Dr. Rob Gillette, John Harris, Richard Mandella, Chris McCarron. Wayne McIlwraith, Dan Metzger, Steve Norman, Denny Oeschlager, Dr. Mick Peterson, Todd Pletcher, Richard Shapiro, Dr. Scott Stanley, Gary Stevens, Dr. Sue Stover and Mitch Taylor.

Mitch Taylor of Kentucky Horseshoeing School will present high-speed video studies of racehorses galloping on different surfaces wearing different shoes. Mitch has been building on his initial filming of horses with and without toe grabs that he presented at the "Hoofcare@Saratoga" forum last August and at the 4th International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot in November.

In the synthetic surfaces study group, Dr. Preston Hickman of the Wichita Equine and Sports Medicine Clinic, who also uses video analysis technology, will examine the potential causes of on-track injuries. Hickman was a farrier before becoming a veterinarian and is certified by the American Farrier's Association. He is a proponent of Dartfish motion analysis software. Below are some examples of Dartfish "Stromotion" images from the Dublin Horse Show and a short example of a clip of Dr. Preston's high-speed video.

This might be the most important meeting of the year. There is no charge to attend for audience members; there will be two public sessions, one of Monday morning and one on Tuesday afternoon (see schedule).

Please contact the Jockey Club for more information: (859) 224-2850.

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