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justjmpit’s Travel Diary

Monday, 04 Oct 2010

Location: Lexington, Kentucky, USA

MapThe Vet Clinic tour was a nice facility, but not much was going on. We saw the finishing touches on a tendon surgery, but no one on the treadmill or in xray.
The Hydro Therapy Clinic was much more interesting as we saw horses swam, and on an underwater treadmill. Most of the workers appeared to be Mexican, although our tour guide said that anyone could apply and work there for six months with no prior experience required. They appeared quite expert with the handling of the mostly racehorses, and when one did not want to swim professionally backed him down the ramp and then quickly turned him about in the water. The horses were washed before and after every water treatment, so would finish well adapted to water.

Another therapy offered is an Equine Hyperbaric Chamber, where horses can have therapy for chronic injury, or just to speed recovery after strenuous exercise.Apparently some of the Eventers came here for a session after cross country. The benefits of this oxygen enriched environment include healing of injuries that do not respond to other treatment, burn therapy and treatment of infection.
In a corner of the barn we were treated to an actual glimpse of the work of a genetic genius, who was there to passionately explain his research. There were three examples present of cloned horses. Each original was there, with his clone.
Most candidates are geldings whose genes would otherwise be lost. The clones are not yet old enough to prove the proformance of their twin, which included a grand prix jumper and a championship barrel racer.
We asked if Ian Miller had Big Ben clones, but he said they could not discuss clients, so does that mean that Ian is a client?
Time will tell.
One interesting thing was that the clones did not have the same marking as the original. Apparently the gene tells white to go the extremities but does not have a set pattern of how much or what extremity. They gave us a very detailed brochure with a card portraying every clone with his details on the back.
When we returned to Lexington, we found a pub that was broadcasting the first of the show jumping which was great, so we spent the remainer of the afternoon in there, having a few beers and then dinner. We have tickets for round two tomorrow afternoon, so will do our first real tour of the WEG site in the morning. This will be our earliest day returning to the campground, so Michelle and I are planning to hike down the road on an oppossum hunt!