DVMs to play key role in 2010 World Equestrian Games
Virginia equine sports vet to organize, direct them at 16-day competition in Kentucky
Apr 01, 2007
That's when the 2010 World Equestrian Games – the largest equestrian sporting event ever held in the United States – will gallop into the heart of Kentucky horse country.
The 16-day competition is expected to draw 500,000 to 700,000 spectators from around the world to Lexington's Kentucky Horse Park.The event may seem a long way off, but preparations already are well under way by the host organization, which has set up headquarters in a renovated barn just down the road from the 1,200-acre, state-of-the-art equine theme park.
As veterinary services coordinator, Allen will oversee the selection of the DVM pool, organize it into task groups and monitor all veterinary functions while athletes compete for world championships in eight equestrian disciplines – show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting, reining and para-equestrian.
He brings considerable experience to the job. He was veterinary coordinator for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the top-ranked foreign veterinary delegate at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and has served as the United States Equestrian Team (USET) veterinarian on several international teams.
"We had 110 equine vets in Atlanta in 1996. I expect we'll need more than that for the WEG because of the additional disciplines. Perhaps up to 200," Allen says.
Equestrian sport has long been part of the summer Olympic games, but only in three disciplines – stadium jumping, dressage and eventing.
The 2010 games in Lexington will have three important "firsts:"
One of the main concerns for equine veterinarians, Allen says, will be protecting American horses from the tick-borne blood disease piroplasmosis, which is endemic in southern Europe and South America.