Preparing For the Games at Rolex Three Day Event in Kentucky

Dr. Mike Pownall spent last week visiting the Rolex Three Day Event in Kentucky. Here he is sharing his experience in words, photos and videos as we prepare for the Pan Am Games.

In preparation for the Pan Am Games I spent last week in Lexington at the Rolex Three Day Event. I was particularly interested in seeing how Cross Country was run from the perspectives of general organization, and the care of the horses before, during and after the event.

I was overwhelmed by the generosities of the organizing and treating vets in allowing me to shadow them as they went about their duties. The scope of the veterinary care was incredible with 3 supervising FEI vets, 2 official treating vets, various competitor vets, and 17 vets with numerous students helping out on the Cross Country course. It takes a team for this type of event to work well and seamless communication was key to their success.

It has been awhile since I was up close to a 3 Day Cross Country course and my respect and admiration for the horses and riders grew as I walked the course Friday morning. I was exhausted after walking the 6 km course. Imagine galloping this while navigating the challenging jumps? Incredible.

Cross Country day featured torrential rain, which added another layer of complexity for horse and rider safety. Again, I was impressed by how well riders navigated the slick course. The event was overshadowed by the euthanasia of one of the horses because of an injury suffered at the end of Cross Country, but every other horse I saw in D Box following the course was sound and recovered well. As the day progresses you could see the care the riders took on course to minimize the risk to their horses. It was a display of phenomenal horsemanship.

One of our goals during the Games is to offer the best veterinary care to our equine competitors. After seeing the veterinary excellence offered at Rolex I am confident our team of vets, technicians and students will meet the challenge. Currently, we have 23 vets, 17 techs and 9 students who are volunteering their time to help!!

It is almost 2 months until the first horses arrive at the Caledon Equestrian Park. I’m looking forward to sharing more of our experiences as we prepare for the Pan Am Games. Let us know if there is anything in particular you are interested in learning about so we can share with everyone.

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