Denise Steffanus

Creative Solutions: Derby History Scattered With Custom Shoes And Hoof Treatments

From Triple Crown winners Sir Barton in 1919 to American Pharoah in 2015, coping with foot problems sometimes has been a key factor in who won the Kentucky Derby. Sir Barton was notorious for his soft, shelly feet. The chestnut son of Star Shoot tended to throw a shoe each time he ran, having finished […]

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Do Scopes Spread Disease?

Examination with an endoscope is a routine procedure for racehorses. Scoping can reveal exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding), airway obstructions, paralyzed arytenoid cartilage (flappers), guttural pouch infections, and the cause of coughs or nasal discharge. Pre-purchase examinations include scoping to assess the health and correctness of the throat and airways. It is not unusual for a […]

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New Farrier Organization Seeks To Address Continuing Education In Profession

In 2011, a group of farriers saw the need for a trade organization that focused on education rather than certification. The result was the American Association of Professional Farriers, which welcomes farriers from all equine disciplines. Since its inception, 800 farriers have joined the AAPF. In forming the new organization, the founders met with David […]

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Farriers Say Racetrack Licensing Process Leaves Much To Be Debated

Every racing jurisdiction includes in its rules of racing the specific criteria a horseshoer must meet to obtain a racing commission license as a farrier. Passing a two-part test that consists of a written portion and a practical assessment of the farrier’s skills is necessary in most jurisdictions, although a license may be issued to […]

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Metabolic Profiling Yields Insight Into OCD

Researchers are using the complex science of metabolic profiling to determine why some young horses develop osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) while others of similar breeding and management do not. OCD is a common developmental orthopedic disease of young horses that causes lameness and affects the articular cartilage, growth plates, and cervical vertebrae (those in the neck). […]

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Barefootin’: A Healthy Choice for Soundness?

Tradition dictates that racehorses should be shod to get good traction and to protect the hoof, but some trainers believe not all horses should be shod, especially those racing on synthetic surfaces. For the past seven years, Wayne Rice has raced all but one of his 30-horse string barefoot, making an estimated 1,200 barefoot starts. […]

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GMOs In Horse Feed: Should You Be Worried?

Most of the corn and soybean that make up a modern horse’s diet are genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Corn and soybean GMOs were introduced in 1997. By 2014, 93 percent of corn, 94 percent of soybean, and 95 percent of sugar beets—staples in horse feed—produced in the United States were genetically modified. In 2011, the […]

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