The opening session on Friday brought the 528 attendees and 41 practitioners together for socializing and networking. Opportunities
for internships, externships and practice associates were showcased.
"The group initially could be divided about three ways as to their interest level," says Elaine Souers, Rood's executive assistant.
"About a third are born to be equine vets, perhaps raised around horses and already leaning in that career direction. They
were really there to network. Another third aren't yet sure what they want to do, but they're open to equine practice while
looking at all their options. And the remaining third might have come just for the social aspects, to have fun, but we usually
end up convincing about half of them to consider an equine-medicine career."
Saturday's all-day program started with early-morning tours for all 528 (divided into four groups) of Rood & Riddle Equine
Hospital, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Keeneland Racecourse and the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehab Center.
Each of the four groups then visited one of three area horse farms. Saturday afternoon lectures covered prospects in equine
medicine for women, for racetrack practice, group practice, diagnostic imaging and sport and Western performance. An evening
barbecue dinner provided another networking opportunity.
Additional lectures were offered on Sunday morning. Those who stayed through Labor Day were provided transportation and free
admission to the Kentucky Horse Park.