So Far, No Major Tests of Olympic Veterinary, Emergency Transport Preparations


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No news is generally good news–and nowhere is that more true than at the Olympic Games equestrian events. I’d much rather expend my keystrokes telling you about cool things in London and great horses and horsemanship than about equine illnesses and injuries.

Preparation, of course, is more than half the battle when it comes to ensuring horses’ well-being at an international championships. By all accounts, the veterinary team at Greenwich Park has done an outstanding job of ensuring that horses will receive whatever attention they need, lickety-split. In an exclusive interview, veterinary-services manager Jenny Hall, BVSc, MRCVS, filled us in.

Hall, the British equestrian-team veterinarian (who by the way did a large-animal medicine and surgery internship at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square upon graduation from vet school), oversees a team of 240 who staff and manage the on-site veterinary clinic and emergency-transport service at Greenwich Park. Hall had to recruit and train her entire work force, which includes everything from veterinary specialists and farriers to veterinary technicians, receptionists, and equine-ambulance drivers. 

Under their care are the Olympic event, jumping, and dressage horses, of course; but also the modern-pentathlon Olympic horses and the horses that will be arriving in a couple of weeks for the 2012 Paralympic Games. A staff of 240 might sound large until you consider that the veterinary clinic is open and fully staffed 24/7 the entire time that horses are in Greenwich Park. Even then, Hall said, the workers are pulling a series of long, rotating shifts to keep everything covered

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