Think of it as Woodstock for the horse world.
The World Equestrian Games, along with downtown Lexington's International Equestrian Festival, have a great lineup of both hoofcare and lameness related events coming up over the next three weeks. Both events have trade shows with horse health exhibits; there is a third horse expo in Georgetown, Kentucky (on the north side of the Kentucky Horse Park) as well (featuring legendary trainer John Lyons), and the wonderful Secretariat Festival on Saturday, October 2 in Paris, Kentucky sounds like fun.
The education kicks off on Wednesday with the AAEP/Rood and Riddle/Alltech Veterinary Sport Horse Symposium . Familiar speakers from the Hoof Blog at the conference include Drs. Jean-Marie Denoix, Scott Morrison, Scott Pleasant, and Jeff Thomason among many others. Dr Simon Collins from Dr. Chris Pollitt's Australian Equine Laminitis Research Unit at the University of Queensland was a late cancellation.
On Friday, the AAEP and Rood and Riddle will host A Winning Edge: Promoting Peak Performance in Equine Athletes with speakers like Dr. Hilary Clayton and farrier Rodney King on the roster of widely respected names.
The Games begin on Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park, with the opening ceremonies. The hoofcare education continues with daily lectures and demonstrations at Rood and Riddle's pavilion within the huge Alltech exhibition hall. Farrier Michael DeLeonardo will be working on thermography imaging demonstrations for Equine IR, the company that is providing free scans for the competition horses. USA team farrier Steve Teichman is speaking at the Draper Equine Therapy booth, and the Horse Park's farrier shop has just received a decor upgrade, thanks to Farrier Product Distribution.
In downtown Lexington at the International Equestrian Festival, hoofcare activities range from the Kentucky Horseshoeing School's live demonstrations to a six-lecture full seminar by Dr. Ric Redden and the heart-warming encore of Ada Gates Patton's Hoofcare@Saratoga presentation, "Debutante to Blacksmith".
The American Farrier's Association has assembled a rotating able-bodied crew of volunteer farriers who are covering various phases of the Games. Watch for farrier chairman Thom Gabel and his crews to be both providing services to teams as needed in the barn area and to be standing by ringside during events in their "official farrier" capacity. And if they need administrative support, they won't have far to go, since their national headquarters office is located right in the Horse Park.
Last but not least, Lexington opens its heart on Sunday night, October 3rd, for the premiere of the new Disney film, Secretariat, starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich. You can bet there will be plenty of Secretariat fans among the eventing spectators in Lexington that weekend. Ironically, the premiere will be the night before the anniversary of the day that Secretariat died, October 4th. Surely this will bring to mind why Secretariat died--he had laminitis--and stimulate discussion about how progress is coming on preventing and treating and understanding one of world's most elusive, painful and frustrating diseases.
Watch the Hoof Blog for lots of news and a full schedule about all these activities and many more as they approach. No matter what your interest in horses or hooves, the new few weeks in Lexington will be a feast for your senses and your mind. I hope to meet you while we're there! Send an email if you'd like to get together: blog (at) hoofcare.com. Follow the Blog's hoof-related Tweets from WEG on Twitter.com under @HoofcareJournal and general WEG Tweets under @FranJurga.
© 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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