Injuries: They’re Not Just For Racehorses


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A few weeks ago I attended New Vocations’ second-annual Barn & BBQ party, a celebration of retired racehorses and their athleticism and versatility, along with a tip of the hat to an organization that’s doing a fabulous job in ushering hundreds of them into their second careers. Over dinner I ended up having a lively conversation with a group of fellow-retired-racehorse owners about musculoskeletal injuries sustained during and after racing.

It started with a colleague and me discussing a recent experience managing my retired racehorse. For all you pedigree enthusiasts, It Happened Again is a graded-stakes winner who won just shy of $700,000 during his six-year racing career. “Happy” retired sound in July 2014 at the $25,000 claiming level. I bought him in December of that year directly from his racing owner, and I’ve been enjoying working with him ever since. This spring he was going quite well and we were entered in our first two shows of the year.

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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