Friday, August 17, 2012

Pagosa veterinarian serves with U.S. endurance riding team - Full Article

By Sophie Kennedy
SUN Intern
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pagosa veterinarian Dr. Dwight Hooton of Elk Park Animal Hospital flew to the United Kingdom Wednesday, Aug. 15, where he will serve as team vet for the USA team at the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships at Euston Park, near Newmarket, Suffolk, UK, beginning today.

The main event, which takes place Saturday, Aug. 25, is a 100-mile race that must be completed within 18 hours. It is the closest competition to the Olympics in endurance horse riding. If and, as Hooton says, when, endurance riding becomes an Olympic sport, the World Endurance Championships would be the qualifying race.

Hooton, who has been practicing in Pagosa Springs for the last four years, will be responsible for the medical care of the U.S. team’s seven horses, six of which will compete among 160 horses from all seven continents.

Hooton, who is also the team’s acupuncturist, will begin daily evaluations of the team’s horses as soon as he arrives and will continue to do so up to the day of the race. Seven and one-half to eight hours later, when the top horse/rider teams begin to cross the finish line, Hooton will resume evaluations and apply recovery treatment to the horses before they return to the United States.

This year, Hooton’s role is especially important as this is the first time in 14 years that the United States team is in a position to bring home a team medal...

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