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Pagosa vet participates in World Equestrian Games

Pagosa’s Dr. Dwight Hooton was chosen to participate in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) held this month in Lexington, Ky.

The World Equestrian Games is held every other year, alternating with the Pan American Games. This was the first year that the WEG was held in the United States and the Kentucky Horse Park provided a world-class venue for the two-week-long event. The event consists of all major Olympic level horse events and is a part of the Olympic selection process for most countries.

Hooten was asked to be a special consulting veterinarian for the Endurance Competition. His many years of endurance experience in the United States and Dubai qualified him as one of only two consulting veterinarians invited to participate in the Endurance Competition. Endurance is the marathon of horse sports, a 100-mile race over varying terrain. Winners often complete the ride in seven to eight hours, depending on the course complexity and the weather.

Veterinarians examine the horses throughout the race to determine if they are fit to continue. Any horse with evidence of lameness, injury or exhaustion is eliminated at these “vet checks.” All horses completing the race must also be certified by the vet as able to continue or they do not receive a completion.

Hooten’s role was to provide treatment for those horses that were eliminated from the race. A fully equipped “horse hospital” was provided at the ride site by Rood and Riddle Equine Veterinary Hospital, a world-renowned veterinary group located in Lexington. Hooten and Dr. Martha Mischiff of Dubai, the other consulting veterinarian, were assisted by Rood and Riddle staff throughout the event, and all horses were successfully treated and returned to the care of their owners.