Equine staff support Tom Quilty Gold Cup
University of Adelaide Equine Health and Performance Centre staff supported South Australia’s high-performance endurance event, the Tom Quilty Gold Cup, in July.
Equine medicine specialist Dr Lidwien Verdegaal said she enjoyed the experience of being the head veterinarian, leading a “fabulous and supportive team” and working with all the people involved in organising the event.
“It was both challenging and great. We had 166 riders with their grooms; almost 200 volunteers and a team of 20 chief stewards; six committee members and 15 vets working as a line vet or at the ride-based hospital,” Dr Verdegaal said.
Equine researchers were able to collect samples for several which aim to develop health prevention strategies as well as improve welfare in endurance horses.
“The purpose of this research is to identify risk factors for a horse ‘not fit to continue’ due to developed metabolic disorders, including tying up,” Dr Verdegaal said.
“We are particularly interested in comparing horses pre-ride and post-ride and comparing finished horses to eliminated horses that are being treated at the hospital.
“We have collected blood, saliva and manure samples.”
Dr Verdegaal thanked all the riders willing to support the study.
The team of 15 vets from South Australia, interstate, New Zealand and Ireland included:
- Dr Lidwien Verdegaal - head veterinarian
- Dr Marco Lopes - track vet
- Dr Claudia Cruz-Villagran, Dr Kendra McLeod, Dr Sam Franklin and Dr Sarah Weaver
- Veterinary students Tamika McElroy, Nathalie Drechsel, Nicole Cruickshank, Emma Shepherd, Camilla Eyles, Faustina Niap and Alysha Sandercock.
Dr Verdegaal said all of the students expressed their enjoyment at being involved is such a prestigious equestrian event and loved the new experience working with the highly competitive endurance horses.