Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital opens doors for International Equine Podiatry Conference April 18-20, 2024

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky will host the third International Equine Podiatry Conference.

The doors to the forge are always open at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Someone is always going in or out, and the equine podiatry clinic is a favorite stop on every hospital tour. But from April 18-20 this year, the doors will open even wider to welcome attendees to the hospital's third International Podiatry Conference. 

Attendees should expect to roll up their sleeves, buckle their aprons, and spend two days in a stimulating state-of-the-art treatment and diagnosis center where the highly-trained staff looks expertly -- and exclusively -- at the equine hoof. A registration at this conference guarantees that the motivated participants can and will get their hands dirty and their questions answered.

The hospital has just announced key information about this year's conference so attendees can now reserve their places. The event returns to the main hospital campus this year, and expands its program to complement lectures by leading authorities on laminitis and hoof biomechanics with an extensive menu of "hands on" learning and sharing experiences ranging from traditional blacksmithing skills to the most advanced imaging and methods of shoe applications.

The 2024 guest speakers ensure the "international" part of the event's name. Between them, they circle the globe, and will bring a mix of accents to the stage in the hospital's well-appointed conference center.

Dr. Jenny Hagen

Dr Jenny Hagen of Germany
Dr habil med vet Jenny Hagen has been associated with the University of Leipzig in Germany for many years, and is the author on 16 peer-reviewed papers, with ten as lead author focusing on the biomechanics of the foot and the specific function of therapeutic shoe designs. Her research often includes not just the weightbearing and breakover aspects of shoe designs, but also compares how their function is affected by hard or soft footing.

Dr Hagen earned the "habilitation" in veterinary medicine while at the University of Leipzig; it is the highest degree attainable in Germany, earned by fulfilling a university's criteria of excellence in research, teaching, and further education, and usually includes a dissertation, as well as a public oral defense of the research. It is often required for full professorship in those countries.

In her independent work, Dr Hagen is a widely traveled lecturer and has been a leader in collaborating with farrier authors in her work. Given her involvement in the widely known 3D hoof anatomy software program, you could say that she is the original "Hoof Explorer", along with her colleagues at Leipzig and the 3D engineers who transformed traditional hoof anatomy diagrams into accurate and colorful animated learning tools.

In addition, Dr Hagen will have two demonstration times for exploring the relationship between gait quality, hoof conformation, body posture, and the role of the proximal locomotor system (neck, back, pelvis) on Friday and gait analysis and management of uneven feet on Saturday. Both will use demo horses to illustrate principles from her lectures that precede the demonstrations.

Dr Andrew van Eps

Andrew van Eps, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc, DACVIM, the Dean W. Richardson Endowed Chair of Equine Disease Research.
From the other side of the world, via Penn Vet's New Bolton Center, comes Australia's Andrew van Eps, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc, DACVIM, the Dean W. Richardson Endowed Chair of Equine Disease Research. His van Eps Laminitis and Endocrinology Laboratory at New Bolton Center is focused on understanding the key events that drive laminitis under different circumstances in order to develop reliable means of prevention and treatment.  

Dr van Eps's work covers the gamut of laminitis pathogenesis and includes both laboratory and clinical studies. He is acknowledged as the pioneer of the role that continuous digital hypothermia ("icing the feet") can play in laminitis prevention and also has studied many aspects of both endocrine-related laminitis and support-limb laminitis, as well. Dr van Eps earned his doctorate in laminitis research as a protégé of Professor Chris Pollitt at the University of Queensland.

His frank "Aussie-style" attitude toward the challenges of preventing and treating laminitis on a case by case basis will be refreshing for attendees, many of whom share his dedication to helping horses with the disease, and he will interface with the Rood & Riddle podiatry staff who face perhaps the largest caseload of local and international referrals of laminitic horses of any equine hospital in the world.

Rood & Riddle podiatry veterinarians

Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital veterinary podiatry veterinarians Dr. Scott Morrison, Dr. Scott Fleming, and Dr. Craig Lesser
Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital veterinary podiatry veterinarians Dr. Scott Morrison, Dr. Scott Fleming, and Dr. Craig Lesser.

The Rood & Riddle veterinary podiatrists will take advantage of the podium to share their deep expertise and caseload experiences in topics like management of hoof capsule injuries (traumatic avulsions, lacerations, puncture wounds, and cracks with Dr Scott Morrison), shoeing for hoof morphology (Dr Scott Fleming), and chronic abscesses (Dr Craig Lesser).

On both Friday and Saturday afternoons, the conference plans wide-ranging, in-depth learning and sharing experiences, which are explained in the conference agenda by topic and facilitator. 

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, located outside Lexington, Kentucky, resembles a college campus from the air. The facilities fill 24 acres and include a podiatry clinic equipped for diagnostic and treatment services, a technical fabrication center for shoe and prosthetic assembly, and a signature classic forge built of limestone masonry.
Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, located outside Lexington, Kentucky, resembles a college campus from the air. The facilities fill 24 acres and include a podiatry clinic equipped for diagnostic and treatment services, a technical fabrication center for shoe and prosthesis assembly, and a signature classic forge constructed from limestone masonry.

Options in hands-on experience 

Attendees will reserve their choices of experiences from these subjects, hosted by Rood & Riddle podiatry staff: 
  • Welding - Fabrication for Therapeutic Shoeing Applications
  • Performance and Interpretations of Venograms
  • Hoof Mapping
  • Forging Shoe Modification
  • Glue On Shoe Modification
  • Glue On Shoes – Preparation and Application
  • Knife Sharpening
  • Rocker Shoe Application
  • Surgical Approaches (e.g., P3 sequestra, keratomas, laminitis, white line disease, penetrating injuries)
  • Hoof Cracks
  • Ultrasound of the distal limb with lameness that blocks to the foot

It won't be all work at the conference. A welcome reception on Thursday evening, hosted by Soft Ride boots, will begin the event. On Friday night, attendees will travel a few miles to a classic Kentucky mansion, the lovely historic Spindletop Hall,  with its sweeping (and appropriate) horseshoe staircase. Saturday morning,  attendees can enjoy the ultimate springtime-in-Kentucky rite of passage, an early morning at nearby Keeneland Racecourse to enjoy the morning track workouts. 

• • • • •

Most forge doors creak. Some are falling off their hinges. That is because, traditionally, forge doors were left open. Was it for ventilation or has the idea been, from the beginning of time, to let the public peek in and observe the horses being shod, and the hard work being done so expertly?

Few equine hospitals in the world are as busy or as generous with their open-door policy as Rood & Riddle. The podiatry clinic, in particular, is a place where work must be done with the highest attention paid to the horse's needs, and yet the doors stay open. Everyone is busy going about their work, heading out to farms or airports, or fabricating the shoes, braces, and devices needed for every imaginable hoof problem known to horses. Shoes fabricated in the clinic's sophisticated milling shop may be customized for a horse down the road or across the world. And yet there's still time to answer questions from guests.

For two days in April, 60 fortunate attendees will be not just attending a conference but also working in and around the actual clinic,  taking home exposure to new ideas, tools, and procedures, while also forging new relationships with professional colleagues.

They will feel right at home here where the very newest ideas and products mix surprisingly well with the collected historical pieces beautifully displayed in a growing museum-style cabinets showcasing the history of equine podiatry. 

Inside this unique must-see combination of ultra-modern forge and treatment center, new history is written every day. This conference is a special opportunity to be part of it.

A link to the full schedule will be added.

• • • • • 

A look back...

Some photos from cases treated during the first Rood & Riddle International Equine Podiatry Conference in 2019; an informal album.

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