A challenging day’s cross-country at Greenwich Park saw 15 riders fall yesterday during the Olympic eventing. But a purpose-built veterinary clinic has been on hand throughout to offer the very best care to the equine athletes.
The impressive clinic was built in just three weeks, but has been kitted out with the highest spec gear and provides round-the-clock care to horses competing in the Olympics and Paralympics.
There are four supervised treatment boxes, overseen by the FEI veterinary commission, where onsite experts provide a range of treatments including endoscopy, radiography, ultrasonography and physiotherapy.
“We are very lucky in the UK to have the best of the best veterinary experts on tap”, said veterinary services manager Jenny Hall. “We know the Olympic veterinary clinic facilities will be used a lot for routine supportive veterinary care. We hope they won't be used for any emergency first-aid, but if anything should happen, we are extremely well prepared to cope with anything that comes our way.”
As well as the onsite care, clinic staff have access to a further team of experts that can be brought in if necessary, and there are three equine hospitals on call throughout the games.
The World Horse Welfare has worked closely with the FEI over the last 30 years to ensure the well-being and safety of competition horses, and the organisation said that it is more than happy with the standard of care on offer at London 2012.
“We are particularly impressed with the work that has been done by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the FEI at Greenwich Park and are confident that the horses will get the highest possible level of care so that they can perform at their very best during the games.”