Any equines who are feeling a little hoarse can check into one of five veterinary clinics that are open 24 hours a day at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
Each of the five competition venues has its own dedicated veterinary clinic, each of which is supported by three referral clinics specialising in equine internal medicine, fractures and the treatment of colic. The referral clinics, which will be used in case treatment is required offsite, are located within easy travelling distance and horses will be transferred by equine ambulance.
Each clinic is furnished with a full range of diagnostic equipment including x-ray and ultrasound machines, and endoscopes. Each facility includes a minimum of five treatment boxes as well as a specific stable for any horse who may require more extensive monitoring. A team of five specialist imaging veterinarians, who are available for expert assistance and support, is on duty at each clinic.
In addition, each facility houses a pharmacy stocking a wide range of veterinary supplies and full laboratory equipment. An external laboratory is also available in case further diagnostic testing is required.
An equine anti-doping facility, where sample collection for anti-doping testing will take place, is located on each site, along with a forge manned by three expert farriers.
A world-class team of equine veterinary experts is also in place at the Games, to safeguard horse health and provide care and attention.
A total of 65 treating veterinarians, 26 FEI veterinary officials, two veterinarians in charge of limb sensitivity testing, and seven testing veterinarians who are supported by nine testing technicians, will be officiating during the Games. The official vets will be supported by 50 veterinary students and, in addition, 176 personal and team veterinarians will accompany the horses competing in Normandy throughout the event.
“Horse welfare is central to the work of the FEI,” FEI Veterinary Director Graeme Cooke said. “We have a longstanding approach to providing veterinary support at competitions at all levels and on every scale.
“In total, 159 veterinary personnel will be working on behalf of the FEI in Normandy, in addition to the team vets that travel with the National Federations. They will all be working under the FEI Veterinary Regulations, which cover the supervision, health and welfare of the horses competing in FEI events from the moment they arrive on site to the moment they leave.
“This large team of specialists and the outstanding veterinary facilities have been put in place to ensure that horse welfare is absolutely optimal throughout the Games in Normandy.”
Veterinary Services Manager Anne Couroucé-Malblanc is in overall charge of the multi-venue veterinary facilities for the Games.
“None of this massive support system would be possible without the fantastic partnerships we have with the labs, the vets and the societies that have provided equipment for the clinics,” she said.
“It’s wonderful to have people of the calibre of Professor Jean-Marie Denoix on board from the CIRALE imaging centre [Centre for Imaging and Research in Equine Locomotor Disorders] for horses in Normandy, part of the Maisons-Alfort vet school in Paris, and (Laboratory) Frank Duncombe in Normandy. All our treating vets are volunteers, and every one of them immediately agreed when I asked them to be part of this huge event.
“This combination of incredible veterinary expertise and world-class facilities means that we can be totally confident that we will provide the best possible care for the horses that we have competing at the Games.”