Despite equine injuries, Wilson Equestrian Center stays course

Byline: Becky Harrison

Posted: April 11, 2010

Despite nine horses injured in one week, the Hunt Seat Show and Jeremy Beale Dressage Clinic at the Equestrian Center continue continued as scheduled in mid-April. Jeremy Beale is a U.S. Dressage Federation (USDF) gold medalist and former international and Olympic event rider for Great Britain.

Horses at Wilson College Equestrian Center encountered common springtime injuries and conditioning issues as the winter gave way to spring, and even summer, weather conditions. Both Wilson-owned, as well as, horses on loan to the school from outside individuals, were affected.

Horses injured

Many of these injuries occurred because of horses' habitat in the barns during this year's harsh winter weather, which confined them for greater periods of time. Upon the return of spring, horses got anxious and galloped around the fields, using muscles and joints that had not been exercised adequately for several months.

Dir. of Equestrian Studies, Prof. John B. Tukey says, "Injuries can occur from many sources...For instance, there are injuries… associated with snow and ice. There are injuries that are associated with horses feeling good and running around."

All nine horses will be treated for injuries such as abscesses (a collection of pus that accumulates in a cavity formed by tissue), as well as head injuries, pulled muscles and hock or tendon issues (which can occur at the back of the knee joint in the hind leg).

Among the horses treated were:

  • Cinnabar- Tendon issue in back leg
  • Johnny- Aggravated older tendon injury
  • Icky- Pulled back muscle
  • Cartman- Abscess in hind hoof
  • DC- Abscess in back of heel also kicked in back leg
  • Rocky- Abscess in front foot
  • Eli- Hock issues
  • Crusier- Hock issues
  • Feddie- Bloody nose (Possible head injury)

Currently all of the horses will be treated based on injury by Wilson College Barn Staff.

Horses' schedule

At Wilson there are more students scheduled to ride in the fall semester than in the spring semester. This makes it easier to change schedule around the injured horses in the spring when compared with fall. At the same time, with spring coming more team events to Wilson College such as the Hunt Seat Show and the upcoming Intercollegiate Dressage Association Show (IDA), with horses being used more frequently and vigorously.

Stable Manager, Ellen Schroyer explains the horses' schedules, "If any of the horses get used more than once or twice a day it is because they are being used for teams [in practices] and [in] lessons." But suggests Schroyer, these injuries will not affect lessons nor team practices as the week continues.

Effects on upcoming events

The horses being injured will not affect the Jeremy Beale Clinic. It will run Saturday and Sunday as scheduled. Most of the horses used for the clinic will be student-owned, with the exception of two Wilson horses.

Hunt Seat Show in full swing

So far, only the Hunt Seat show was slightly affected by these equine injuries. The horses that are normally not used for these shows were used for the show this Sunday against Delaware Valley College, Centenary, Cazenovia, York and Cornell.

Most the beginner horses may be put into more advanced classes along with their scheduled beginner classes.

Schroyer said, "To prevent this in the future, we [the equestrian department] will make changes to how the shows are ordered," during the spring semester of next year.

Last Updated: October 14, 2011

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