News & Events

SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE EXPERTS: RACEHORSE HEALTH AND WELFARE

University of California, Davis

June 20, 2008

Experts in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine are available to comment on topics of racehorse health and welfare, including Thursday's (June 19) hearing on the sport by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

HOW HORSES GET HURT -- Sue Stover, director of the J.D. Wheat Veterinary Orthopedic Research Laboratory at UC Davis, testified Thursday (June 19) at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., about the state of thoroughbred horseracing and the welfare of thoroughbred racehorses. Stover studies the orthopedic biomechanics of racehorse injuries. She has particular expertise in analyzing racetrack injuries, called "breakdowns," that result in racehorse deaths. Stover discovered that pre-existing conditions and high-intensity training can cause catastrophic injury to racehorses. She also advocated the installation of bone-scanning instruments at Santa Anita's racetrack, which has led to early detection of injuries. More information on Thursday's House hearing: <http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-ctcp-hrg.061908.Horseracing.shtml>. Contact: Sue Stover, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 752-7438 office, (530) 219-5861 cell, smstover@ucdavis.edu.

DRUG TESTING POLICY -- Rick Arthur, equine medical director at the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at UC Davis, and for the California Horse Racing Board, is an expert on horse racing injuries, regulation, drug testing, anabolic steroids, medications, veterinary procedures and pre-race veterinary examinations. His joint appointment to the racing board and the Maddy Laboratory involves research and development of drug-testing policies, as well as analysis of laboratory findings and industry education. Contact: Rick Arthur, School of Veterinary Medicine, (626) 241-0682, rmarthur@ucdavis.edu.

DRUG TESTING PROCEDURES -- Scott Stanley, a UC Davis associate professor of veterinary medicine, is an expert in racehorse drug testing and medications, including anabolic steroids. He oversees the activities of the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at UC Davis (a program of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory), which is the official equine drug testing laboratory for California's six permanent race courses, nine seasonal fair venues, and other performance events and locations. Stanley consults with veterinarians and regulatory agencies on the interpretation of drug-testing results. He also directs the development and implementation of new drug-testing techniques. Contact: Scott Stanley, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 752-8735 office and (530) 219-2631 cell.

EMERGENCY CARE AND RESCUES -- John Madigan, associate director of the Large Animal Clinic at UC Davis' William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, is an expert on emergency medicine and rescue operations for horses. He also is an expert in the health of newborn horses (foals) and in infectious diseases of horses. Madigan was instrumental in the development of the UC Davis Anderson Sling and the UC Davis Large Animal Lift, both used widely in emergency medicine and large-animal rescue. He has actively engaged in rescue operations for animals caught in natural disasters such as floods and fires, and been the driving force behind the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team, a group of volunteer faculty, staff and students who assist with animal rescue and veterinary care during disasters. Contact: John Madigan, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 304-1212, jemadigan@ucdavis.edu.

EXERCISE-INDUCED DISORDERS -- John Pascoe, executive associate dean of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, is an equine surgeon and an expert on a common disorder in heavily exercised racehorses. Pascoe showed that the disorder, which he named exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, originates in the lungs and not in the nose, as had been believed for centuries. He continues to work with colleagues to understand its underlying causes. In 1998, Pascoe was elected Distinguished Practitioner to the National Academy of Practice, which limits membership to 100 active veterinarians. He is editor-in-chief of Veterinary Surgery, the journal of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Contact: John Pascoe, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 752-1324 office and (530) 304-1432 cell, jrpascoe@ucdavis.edu.

EQUINE RESEARCH AND RACETRACK VETERINARY CARE -- Greg Ferraro, director of the school's Center for Equine Health, improves the health and well-being of horses through clinical practice, veterinary medical education and research. He currently directs studies by faculty researchers investigating all aspects of equine health, including physiology, sports medicine, anatomy, toxicology, drug testing and nutrition, with the overall aim of improving the standard of veterinary care for horses. As a racehorse surgeon, he pioneered the adaptation of human arthroscopic surgical techniques to horses. In 1976, Ferraro led the launch of the Southern California Equine Foundation, which, in partnership with the Dolly Green Research Foundation in Arcadia, revolutionized racetrack practice with an on-site hospital facility for use by all attending veterinarians. The model of a racetrack hospital has been emulated at racing venues throughout the world. Ferraro and the foundations' partnership also developed the Kimzey Equine Ambulance and the Kimzey Breakdown Splint, which have greatly improved emergency veterinary care for severely injured horses. Contact: Greg Ferraro, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 752-5433 office and (530) 304-1107 cell, glferraro@ucdavis.edu. Note: Ferraro is unavailable until Monday, June 23.


Media contact:

* Sylvia Wright, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-7704, swright@ucdavis.edu