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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vet-Farrier-Therapist Team Behind the Team at the Pan Am Games Dressage Event


The 2011 Pan Am Games opened tonight in Guadalajara, Mexico with a gala opening ceremony. First though, the dressage horses had to pass the veterinary inspection at 9 a.m. this morning: so far, so good as far as we know.

It sounds like Team USA has so far kept out of the way of the Mexican hurricane Jova, but the weather was bad enough that ESPN reported the opening ceremonies might be canceled. And then the sun came out!

The dressage horses have settled down in Guadalajara, in part thanks to the team of seasoned professionals in charge of their stabling, their health and their hooves. The United States Equestrian Federation's Joanie Morris provided some "barn notes" for Hoof Blog readers about the team behind the team.

Barn Manager Doug Hannum first traveled with the United States Equestrian Team in 1966 as a show jumping groom--and he hasn't missed much over the last four decades. The first Team horse he looked after was called Ilan; he belonged to James Paxton but Frank Chapot rode him on the US Team and Dougie was part of the deal. He was around when a jumping horse named Sloopy had to take a boat to Germany from the United States because he was so frightened on the plane that they wouldn't let him fly. That was in 1972. If it's broken, Dougie can fix it. If a horse needs some physio work, he's your guy.

Rick Mitchell, Veterinarian
Veterinarian Rick Mitchell started his tenure with the U.S. Equestrian Team with the show jumpers -- he was an accredited vet at the 1992 Olympics but his first official team trip in 1995 was to the Pan American Games. This is his fourth Pan Am Games. He has done three Olympic Games since 1996. His first with the dressage team was in 2008. His wife Julie works alongside him as a tech and administrator. They are a fantastic team.

Stephen Teichman, farrier
Farrier Stephen Teichman did his first U.S. Equestrian Team work in 1997 at the Open European Championships for Eventing and then the World Championships in Rome in 1998. He has pulled off some miracles in his days, including putting an open shoe on backwards to serve as a bar shoe in a pinch at a horse inspection. It was the first and last time he traveled to another country without bar shoes.

Dressage gets underway with high hopes for USA medals in all events. Thanks to Joanie and USEF for the report--here's hoping the information flows freely over the next week! And let's not forget:

Brendan Furlong, eventing vet
Christiana Ober, Canada's vet
When it comes time for eventing to begin, Brendan Furlong will be taking over for the United States. The horses is his care will be competing against the Canadians, among others.

Under the heading of "small world", the eventing veterinarian for Team Canada is none other than Furlong's Florida-based associate, Christiana Ober of Peak Performance Equine Services in Ocala/Williston.

Randy Pawlak, farrier for Canada
The stable, health and hoof crew for Team Canada is stable manager Debbie Furnas,  team farrier Randy Pawlak and team manager Fleur Tipton.

The Hoof Blog will share any relevant news that drifts northward from Guadalajara.

The Hunterdon County Democrat in New Jersey published a great article today about B.W. Furlong and Associates and the practice's role in the Pan Am Games.

Photo sources for this article: Doug Hannum via equilite.com; Rick Mitchell via Al Guden and Hyperion Farm of Wellington, Florida; Stephen Teichman via Chester County Farrier Associates; Brendan Furlong via B.W. Furlong and Associates; Christiana Ober via Peak Performance Equine Services; Randy Pawlak via Hoofcare and Lameness archives and Forging Ahead.

Colorful, high-resolution, amazing detail! http://www.hoofcare.com/hoofwall.html

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