Rood & Riddle Offers Tours to World Equestrian Games Visitors


Rood and Riddle Equine HospitalWith hundreds to possibly thousands of horses expected to be competing at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, it’s imperative that veterinarians be on-hand at all times and that there be an equine hospital nearby for emergencies. Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, located less than 5 miles from the site for the games, the Kentucky Horse Park, serves as both.

The state-of-the-art facility offered tours to WEG visitors on Wednesday morning to give them an inside look at how the staff of about 54 veterinarians and 170 supporting employees care for the horses that come through the hospital’s doors, from backyard equine companions to the elite athletes competing at the games.

Nicole Bone, surgery supervisor and an anesthesia technician, showed us around the hospital’s grounds, which consists of nine barns with 140 stalls that shelter the approximately 10,000 horses Rood and Riddle barnsRood & Riddle sees each year. After watching orthopedic surgeon Larry Bramlage perform a fetlock arthroscopy on a horse, in which he used a scope and what looked like a miniature ice cream scoop to remove bone chips from the joint, Nicole walked us through the many laboratories, surgery rooms and recovery stalls.

Some of the cutting-edge technologies Rood & Riddle has to offer its patients include diagnostic tools such as bone scanning (nuclear scintigraphy), MRI and radiography (with digital X-ray plates). In February, the hospital opened its new stem cell laboratory, where stem cells from bone marrow and chord blood are harvested and cultured to hopefully repair injuries that would most likely have been life-ending not so long ago. “Our goal is to be the mayo clinic for horses,” said Nicole.

As we walked by the barns for orthopedic cases, colic and surgery, and neonatal and intensive care, Nicole explained the intricacies of procedures done at the hospital. We got a glimpse at Rood & Riddle’s podiatry center, where the staff blacksmith has everything he needs to forge shoes for patients. Two of only four farriers in the world who are also veterinarians work here on an almost 24/7 basis.

Rood and Riddle equine treadmillWe saw the over-sized treadmill used to diagnose exercise-induced health problems in equine athletes, particularly racing Thoroughbreds, as well as the breeding shed and outpatient building for horses that come in and go home the same day. Rood & Riddle even has its own herd of blood donor horses and recipient mares, which act as surrogates for mares that are infertile or unable to carry a pregnancy to full term.

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital is at the top of the equine health industry and its amazing facility is a must-see for equestrians and horse lovers who are visiting or live in the area. The friendly staff is more than happy to accommodate tours by appointment. For more information, visit And if you’re at WEG, don’t forget to stop by their exhibit, with incredible interactive displays.

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