Bill Hay, DVM, DACVS, and his wife, Anne Baskett, DVM, DACVS, will oversee the treating veterinarians at the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018. The event will be held September 11-23 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina.
Hay is a graduate of University of California-Davis. He received his surgical training at New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania. He was Chief of Staff at the University of Georgia Veterinary Hospital before joining Tryon Equine Hospital in 2000. His special interests include performance horse lameness evaluations, diagnostic imaging (including ultrasound and MRI), regenerative medicine (stem cell), orthopedic surgery, airway surgery and general surgery.
EquiManagement caught up with Hay after all eight of the WEG Tryon 2018 Test Events had taken place just to take the pulse on how they went and to ask a few questions about WEG Tryon 2018. Following are those questions and answers.
Q: How have the test events gone? Any health concerns or things that will be changed or tweaked based on those experiences?
Dr. Hay: The test events have been completed for all eight FEI disciplines. The disciplines are extremely varied, and it has been a pleasure working with the competitors and organizers.
The horses have all done well, and the level of competition has been excellent. Each discipline team has been complimentary of the facilities and organization to date and has provided helpful insight into the continued development and preparations for WEG in September.
Q: What does it take to coordinate this many domestic and international horses coming in and out of Tryon for this event?
Dr. Hay: Plans for WEG include a well-orchestrated arrival and departure schedule with international arrivals by air and domestic arrivals by road. The large number of permanent stables at Tryon International Equestrian Center make it much easier to manage the number of horses coming for competition. Horses will be stabled by discipline, allowing arrival, training, competition and departure schedules to be organized by discipline, as well.
Q: What would you say to alleviate the concerns of domestic horse owners who have concerns about biosecurity?
Dr. Hay: Horses that are coming to compete in WEG are all FEI horses of high health status. They are closely managed and monitored throughout their competition careers. In addition, the USDA and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture are performing extensive testing and examination of all horses entering the site.
Medical facilities are present on site, and most medical situations will be managed by the Veterinary Services team at the venue. An extensive biosecurity plan has been developed by veterinarians with biosecurity experience in recent Olympic and World Equestrian Games that assures safe importation, participation in sport at the Tryon WEG and exportation of horses after the Games are finished.
Q: If a horse is injured during an event or on course, what is the protocol to remove that horse to Tryon Equine Hospital or another facility?
Dr. Hay: In the event of a medical problem or injury of a horse at WEG, most conditions will be managed at the WEG Veterinary Hospital at the venue. Veterinarians will be present at all competitions and equine ambulances from PEER, MSPCA and 4HFES will be ready to transport any injured horses.
If a horse requires more care than can be provided on site, equine ambulances are available to transport WEG horses to Tryon Equine Hospital, North Carolina State University Veterinary Hospital or the University of Georgia Veterinary Hospital, as needed. Horses that need to leave the venue will be transported under USDA Seal to these approved locations.
Q: Dr. Baskett noted in a previous interview that specialist veterinarians and a team of physiotherapists will be present at the venue. Can you expand on that?
Dr. Hay: Veterinarians with a wide range of expertise in each of the eight WEG disciplines will be providing care at the WEG. In addition, there will be specialists in veterinary imaging, internal medicine, surgery and lameness staffing the WEG hospital.