Horse Health Video Landmarks: Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky

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by Fran Jurga | 16 June 2009 | The Jurga Report

I had this great idea to hit the road this summer and tour the USA. I can see it now: The Jurga Report: Road Trip Edition. I'd upgrade my video equipment and I'd visit the landmarks of the horse health world (and maybe a few horse farms, training centers, farrier shops and racetracks) and post the videos here to share with you. A blue highway tour of the places and faces who help me do this blog.

What fun that would be! Maybe I could rent an RV...

Then I remembered that someone beat me to at least one of them; Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital made this great introductory video about their campus-like clinic outside Lexington, Kentucky a little over a year ago and I've finally been able to make it work in YouTube so it also works on the blog.

Maybe there's still hope for the road trip idea for some of the other landmarks, though.

Vet schools and equine clinics might not be at the top of your list when you're on a vacation but I always seem to find my way to them and I've had some amazing experiences. I was at Rood and Riddle right after a tornado had taken some of the roofs off one year.

If you are ever at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the clinic offers tours, and since Rood and Riddle is a sponsor of the World Equestrian Games next year, their doors may be open to the public more than ever.

Still, this video is a close-up look behind the scenes and right into the eyes of some of the world-famous experts on the staff there.

Please take a few moments to watch this video. The next time you hear about a racehorse being scheduled for a surgery at Rood and Riddle, it might mean a little more to you. I've heard it called the Mayo Clinic of the horse world, and I suppose that is an apt analogy. To me, it is a wonderful place, but I know to others, it is the last place they ever want to see, because it means that a horse has a very serious problem that a local veterinarian prefers to refer to a specialist.

I hope that your horses will never need to be referred to Rood and Riddle, but know that the expertise of these veterinarians and staff professionals is shared generously with others all over the country, and your horses are likely to benefit in some way.

Be glad that the horse world in the USA has a Rood and Riddle, and many other excellent treatment and referral centers scattered around the country. The rise of the private super-clinic is a relatively recent development in veterinary medicine; until recently, high-end medicine, surgery and diagnostics were the province of the vet schools, but now the top surgeons move in and out of academia and private practice, so that both worlds--and all horses--benefit.

With the addition of very expensive diagnostic equipment, such as MRI or nuclear scintigraphy, private clinics are actually competing with vet schools for referral dollars, which is a concern on one hand, but a plus when one considers the geographic isolation of many regions that are far from vet school hospitals but can benefit from private clinics.

Now, tell me: what are your favorite horse health landmarks? What should be on my list when I hit the road? Where should I put the next pin on the map? Just hit the "Comment" button and leave your ideas.