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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Look at Panel II - Congressional Hearings

Well these guys were a little tougher to find information on and there's a whole lot of alphabet after their names. At first I thought, oh no, lots of academia, but no relevant experience. These folks have some real fire power and background behind them and I'm very anxious to see (hear) them in action. Here's what I found (film at eleven).

Panel II Witnesses

Susan M. Stover, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVS - See what I mean about the alphabet. You're on your own figuring out what they mean, there's only so many hours in a day. What was very interesting about Dr. Stover is that she sold her first horse to go to college, and broke and trained horses as her first summer job. After finishing vet school in Washington she attended the University of California-Davis as a resident and graduate student and settled there with her husband, who is the executive associate dean of the veterinary school. She is the professor of anatomy, physiology and cell biology in the School of Veterinary Medicine and has devoted her career to studying race horses. She has put her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to work to answer why race horses break their legs. "We now know, with confidence that it's not just a sudden death that resulted from a broken bone, but it's the previous two or three months of events that set the horse up for injury." Wow. Really looking forward to her banter with the representatives based on her vast knowledge and research of the topics.

Lawrence R. Soma - Soma is the professor of anesthesia and clinical pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He is also a Marilyn M. Simpson Professor of Large Animal Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Studies at the New Bolton Center (where Barbaro did a major portion of his surgical recovery time). He has been quoted in Science Daily about the physiology of a race horse and should offer interesting dialogue based on his experiences and knowledge gained from practicing at the New Bolton Center.

Mary Scollay - Listed by the government in its press release as a "Track Statistician," she appears to be much more than that. Dr. Scollay was just recently appointed as the equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority (KHRA). Previously, she served as the senior veterinarian for Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course, and has been in the public eye as a result of a uniform national online equine injury report she developed. The initial statistics from that project, sponsored by The Jockey Club, were released earlier this year and provided an initial look at catastrophic injuries at tracks with synthetic versus dirt tracks. Her new position according to a press release says Dr. Scollay will "serve as a consultant on equine medication and health issues and make recommendations on strategies to enhance equine safety and to prevent illicit activities." She has a tremendous background and should be a vital key to providing key statistics to the subcommittee.

Wayne McIlwraith BVSc, Ph.D., FRCVS, DSc, Dr. med vet, Diplomate ACVS - Say that five times fast. Dr. McIlwraith received his veterinary degree (BVSc) from Massey U. in New Zealand. This dude's done time at Guelph (near Toronto), Purdue University, University of Vienna and is currently a Professor at Colorado State University, with more awards than I've got room to print. He has made significant strides in advancing the Equine Orthopaedic Research Lab's reputation through publications, scientific presentations at key meetings throughout the world, and fundraising efforts. He is a recognized leader in the field of equine orthopaedic research and surgery. He consults worldwide as a specialist equine surgeon and has received national and international media attention for his contributions to joint research. He has authored four textbooks in the equine medical genre and has authored or co-authored over 250 refereed publicatons and textbook chapters and has presented oer 350 seminars both nationally and internationally to equine practitioners, veterinary specialty meetings and human orthopaedic meetings. My guess is he won't be too nervous, come Thursday.

Alex Waldrop - Mr. Waldrop is currently the president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). The former president of Churchill Downs (11th president in its storied history) worked his way through Western Kentucky University and University of Kentucky Law School with honors. He became Churchill's general counsel in 1992, then moved up to senior vice president and general manager. His predecessor at the NTRA, Craig Fravel, is quoted as saying "Alex brings to the table intellect, political savvy, hands on racing experience and expertise from within and outside our industry." He has recently started his own blog at the NTRA website to get back in touch with the racing fan and his constituency. He should be a proponent for racing and an excellent witness for the industry.



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