Monday, September 06, 2010

Ready, Vet, Go! Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital Shares World Equestrian Games Plan to Serve Horses, Educate Visitors

Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington will make technologically advanced diagnostic and treatment equipment and personnel  available to any horses that may become sick or injured during their stay in Kentucky. This horse is being worked up on the Rood and Riddle high-speed treadmill so that his metabolism and airways can be evaluated.

Many of the people who read this blog would be just as happy being backstage at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington this fall as they would be with front row seats. Of course we all hope that no horses are injured or become sick during the Games but if that happens...the vet bases backstage are very well-covered. In fact, if you do the math, there may well end up being more veterinarians than horses at the World Equestrian Games!

Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital is only six miles from WEG.
To explain, here are some insights to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's role as the Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Partner for the Games. Rood and Riddle is, of course, one of the leading equine veterinary medical centers in the United States and the world, and its location in Lexington is serendipitous to insuring the finest possible care for any veterinary needs that arise for horses at the Games. Rood and Riddle's college-campus style setting accommodates horses of all breeds for referral surgery, medical treatments, diagnostic imaging and a very special service, equine podiatry. 

Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital employs 50 veterinarians and 200 support staff. Four of the veterinarians are specialists in hoof problems and three farriers are employed in the podiatry clinic and technicians have specialized skills in hoof-related procedures. Interns and trainees can change the number of people working in the podiatry department on a given day.

During the World Equestrian Games, Rood and Riddle will work closely with Dr. Kent Allen, the official veterinary coordinator of the Games. Dr. Chris Newton, a veterinarian and partner at Rood and Riddle who is also an avid equestrian and eventing competitor, heads the Rood and Riddle team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians assembled to provide medical support to the Games.
When the horses arrive in Kentucky from all over the world, their handlers will pay close attention to how well they survived the stress of travel and are settling in to their new surroundings. However, these horsemen and their equine charges will have access to one of the most extensive arrays of advanced veterinary services available at a competition. 

The Horse Park will offer an on-site veterinary clinic that will provide 24-hour care ranging from basic medical treatment to high-level diagnostics.  Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, less than six miles away, will be staffed and ready to address any emergency or injury in need of specialized medical care.

The diagnosis of musculoskeletal injuries is a specialty at Rood and Riddle. Experts in equine imaging have precise criteria for selecting between MRI, CT, nuclear scintigraphy, ultrasound and digital radiography for the best evaluation of an injury, depending on whether a soft tissue or bone may be injured. This photo shot through the observation window into the MRI suite shows an anesthetized horse with a limb inside the MRI magnet. The monitor in the foreground shows preview images.

During the Games, a minimum of six Rood and Riddle veterinarians with numerous veterinary technician assistants will be on-site daily. During the more taxing competitions, such as Eventing Cross-Country, Endurance, and the Driving Marathon, the veterinary staff will increase with additional support from the Rood and Riddle medicine and surgery specialists at the on-site veterinary clinic.
In addition to the Rood and Riddle veterinarians, every National Federation will send a minimum of one team veterinarian. The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of equestrian sport, will also have veterinarians in attendance. The FEI veterinarians’ primary function is to ensure that all rules are being followed, allowable medications are administered correctly and the horse’s welfare is placed above the competition.
The Rood and Riddle Pavilion at the Alltech Experience
One of the most exciting aspects of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games for Rood and Riddle is the opportunity to educate the world about the hospital and the advances in equine veterinary medicine. WEG attendees will find the Rood and Riddle Pavilion, located within the Alltech Experience compound, to be a must-see destination on their tour of the extensive exhibit areas at the Kentucky Horse Park. 

The pavilion (design plan at right) will provide an educational experience for young and old with multiple interactive stations and video displays covering the latest veterinary technology including diagnostic imaging, equine medicine and surgery, and stem cell therapy. 

Visitors can use touch screen controls to choose which type of horse they would like to see on a treadmill followed by the endoscopic view of the throat, use an ultrasound probe on a phantom uterus to locate a pregnancy, and see an actual surgery table anesthesia machine set up complete with a 900-lb. model of an equine patient in position and ready for surgery. 

The pavilion also includes a theater section where daily lectures will be presented by Rood and Riddle  veterinarians and other equine professionals including Hall of Fame jockeys and World Games competitors.
Rood and Riddle Hospital Tours During WEG
Rood and Riddle is also hosting tours at the hospital, Monday through Friday, at 10am and 12pm during the Games. Tours are by reservation only and may be booked at Tickets are $12.95 per person (ticket required for children aged 5 and up; strollers not permitted) with $5 from every ticket purchase going to the Kentucky Equine Humane Center and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation.

After years of planning and anticipation for the big event, our friends at Rood and Riddle are ready and say that they are honored to participate in this extraordinary event. They're eager to see World Champions crowned in eight disciplines. Let the Games begin!

If you enjoyed this story, or if you are planning to attend the World Equestrian Games, you may also want to read Fran Jurga's new blog, Discover WEG with Fran Jurga on the web site. It will only be around for a few months--the Games will soon be here!

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