The on-site veterinary clinic may not be quite as lavish (thanks to budget constraints) as originally hoped for, but it's proving quite up to the task of taking care of the horses at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, according to WEG chief veterinary advisor A. Kent Allen, DVM.
TheHorse.com caught up with Allen at the halfway point of the Games, the day after eventing competition wrapped and as jumping was commencing at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Things at the temporary clinic are going "very well," said Allen. The facility is staffed with two surgeons around the clock and features two ultrasound units and other high-tech equipment, all on standby to diagnose and treat nearly all manner of equine ailments, minor and major. (For a detailed rundown of the veterinary arsenal, click here to read my article, "Keeping the WEG Healthy.")
As expected with the rugged equine triathlon known as eventing, cross-country day produced a few injuries. The good news is that "none of the horses had a life-threatening injury," said Allen, who referred to the lot as "normal wear and tear" incurred when the fittest and keenest of equine athletes meets an ardous 28-fence course over varied terrain.
"The rest of it," said Allen, referring to the endurance, reining, and dressage competitions that are now in the history books, "has gone very well."
When this article went to press (which is to say, right this minute in the blogosphere), we were trying and failing to obtain an update on US event horse Courageous Comet, who stood third individually with rider Becky Holder after cross-country but who was withdrawn prior to show jumping October 3, the cited reason being a pulled shoe on course and an implied injury of some sort caused by overstress to the opposite foreleg. Allen said he was not yet authorized to release further details. We're as anxious as you to find out how the fourteen-year-old gray Thoroughbred gelding is doing, and we'll update you ASAP.
The story that Allen did want to get out was that Iman du Golfe, the Italian event horse who fell at fence 20 on cross-country and suffered a serious laceration and a small bone chip in the region of his left elbow, was nicely sewn up at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington and is doing well. Iman du Golfe's rider, Juan Carlos Garcia, also is doing well after being treated and released for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.
"The European press had the horse dead and buried," Allen said wryly. "The horse would be surprised to hear that, since he's happily munching hay."