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One of the first programs of its kind in the country, Rillito Race Track implemented an Equine Wellness Program during the 2019 Winter Meet. The program was a resounding success as there were no horse breakdowns during 96 races at the meet this year.

“A couple years ago as Rillito was opening for the season and surrounded by the Equine herpes virus, we made a statement by creating a protocol that larger tracks followed,” said Mike Weiss, general manager of the 75 year-old track. “Rillito has always been known as an innovative track; and because we are smaller, we can implement protocols and adapt them more effectively. This season we created the Equine Wellness Program, and it paid off.”

Part of the program involved hiringextra veterinarians and pre-vet students working toward a Bachelor of Science in veterinary sciences at the University of Arizona. They received college credit through the Rillito Park Foundation Internship Program, a partnership with the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.

The students watched training and took notes on horses with close observation. The team performed pre-race exams on every horse, held classes with experienced lecturers on nutrition, colic, and other topics that were open to trainers, grooms, and others. There was a “Meet the Steward” session — for trainers, public, jockeys, and students — to learn from the stewards, who explained their roles and provided information, visuals and explanations on disqualifications.

Please save the date on Wednesday, March 27 for the Horsemen’s Spring Fling. More details to follow.

Arizona HBPA E-Newsletter
Read an important member update regarding Arizona Downs and Turf Paradise by clicking here.

Previous Newsletters
August 2017April 2017March 2017February 2017

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AZHBPA members can send your request to: azhbpa@outlook.com