Students get hands-on experience at the 2010 World Equestrian Games


Select AAEP student members work alongside WEG veterinarians.

Lexington, Ky. — More than 900 athletes and 1,000 horses from 54 countries are expected to visit the Kentucky Horse Park here to participate in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Sept. 25-Oct. 10.

The games, which marks the largest equine sporting event in the United States, will provide the opportunity for the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to promote the equine veterinary profession to an international audience, involve its student membership in learning opportunities and provide crucial equine medical information to the numerous media outlets covering the Games.

Jump start: More than 1,000 equine athletes from around the world will converge on Lexington, Ky., this month. In this photo Richard Spooner and Cristallo compete in the 2010 International Chantilly Show Jumping in Chantilly, France.

Fourth-year veterinary student members of AAEP student chapters will play an active role. They will monitor biosecurity, help assess competition horses and provide general veterinary care alongside the Games' veterinarians.

Assignments include equine hospital duty, ambulance, drug testing, regulatory and assistance to treating and competition veterinarians.

"The 33 students participating during the World Equestrian Games at the horse park will rotate through a variety of assignments to gain the broadest experience. These assignments will include emergency coverage and night duty in the World Equestrian Games equine hospital," explains Sally Baker, AAEP's director of marketing and public relations.

"The focus of the externship will be to provide students with hands-on experience assisting veterinarians in the care of world-class equine athletes," she says.

Another smaller group of students will be working at the Northern Kentucky-Cincinnati Airport, assisting veterinarians in the quarantine of international horses before they are allowed to compete.

Events will be telecast each weekend on NBC, and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital surgeons Drs. Alan Ruggles and Larry Bramlage will be "On Call."

"The purpose of the On Call Program is to provide a media-trained veterinarian who can offer timely and accurate information about the equine athletes," Baker explains. "Should there be a health issue or injury affecting any of the World Equestrian Games equine competitors, Drs. Ruggles and Bramlage will be able to quickly discuss the situation and offer updates throughout the telecast so that the media and viewers at home can learn about the nature of the health issue and how the horse is being cared for."

In conjunction with the Games, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and Alltech are sponsoring a Veterinary Sport Horse Symposium, Sept. 22-24. Topics will focus on the latest in medications, techniques and diagnostic tools for equine health.

For more information on the Symposium or any of AAEP's initiatives, visit

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