A Day in the Life

    January 16, 2013

    Dr. Ashley Craig

    As a field care intern at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, no day is ever the same. A day recently was definitely not like any other! No matter how well you schedule your day, horses have a mind of their own and generally re-work your schedule.

    So at 8am, I was supposed to meet my mentor, Dr. Arnaldo Monge, and work with him the whole morning, but as I said previously, horses don’t often look at our schedules. When my phone rang at 7, I hustled through my morning routine to rush out the door to see a mare that had just aborted (gave birth early). After inspecting the fetus, placenta and then lavaging the mare’s uterus- I hurried off to meet up with Dr. Monge only 30 minutes behind my previously planned schedule. With Dr. Monge, I got to palpate late stage pregnant mares to make sure they were still pregnant. Dr. Monge is a leader in his field and his demeanor is inspiring to a young veterinarian. As I finished up with my mentor, I headed back to the clinic to assist Dr. Ernie Martinez, the up and coming dental guru. But first, I got to partake in a nice doctors appreciation lunch that was organized by the wonderful ladies in Dispatch and Billing. These ladies work day in and day out to help keep the practice running smoothly and yet they still find time to organize a fabulous potluck lunch to show the doctors how much they appreciate us. The food was great and getting all of the doctors in the same place at once provided much entertainment. As a young doctor, it also allowed me to quiz the more seasoned doctors about my upcoming charter flight for horses that I would be riding on and to pick their brain for tips and suggestions.

    With a full stomach, I headed back to assist Dr. Martinez with floating three sets of teeth. For those who are unfamiliar with the term “floating”, it refers to the process of filing down the sharp edges of the horse’s teeth. Horse teeth continually grow and can grow unevenly. This uneven growth can cause sharp points to form and pain to the horse. As the knowledge of dental issues in horses has grown, so has a veterinarian’s ability to help correct these dental issues. Dr. Martinez has made it his goal to be on the forefront of dental knowledge and it shows! His dental tool kit is exciting for any equine veterinarian to explore. Watching and learning from Dr. Martinez was a treat!

    As I finished up with Dr. Martinez, I rushed off to a more personal appointment- a meeting with Central Kentucky Riding for the Hope. This amazing program helps children and adults with mental and physical disabilities by allowing them to work around and on horses. The horses are special animals that require patience, understanding and a calmness that would shock most people. One of my own horses was a candidate for the program and that day was the day he was going to be evaluated. After putting my gelding through his paces and having a discussion with one of the riding instructors from the program, we determined my horse didn’t quite fit the need of the program. CKRH is looking for horses and with their strict requirements, it is difficult to find the right horse for the program. (Side note- if you know of any horse that might possess the temperament and personality for this amazing program- get in touch with CKRH! )
    Even though my horse wasn’t right for CKRH, my day didn’t slow. I then met up with Dr. Heather Woodruff to work up some lame horses. Seeing multiple horses and traveling across three counties kept me busy learning and driving! Evaluating lame horses takes a special eye and a talent both of which Dr. Woodruff possesses. Learning from a lameness expert was wonderful but not the end to my day! As I hustled from the last appointment, I headed to my parent’s house to grab a duffle bag for my upcoming charter flight to England. With a bag in hand, I headed back to the clinic to attend the Hagyard Lecture Series led by Dr. Jaye McCracken. This in-depth discussion of problems with foals was the finale to a day of learning from some of the experts at Hagyard and a fairly typical unscheduled day!

    A Once in a Lifetime Night

    January 2, 2013
    A Once in a Lifetime Night

    A Once in a Lifetime Night

    Dr. Ashley Craig
    In my four months as an intern at Hagyard, I have been to a total of 5 different Thoroughbred sales. On November 5th, I walked onto the Fasig-Tipton sales ground expecting another “typical” sales filled with yearlings, radiograph retakes, and scoping but boy was I wrong. The moment I walked onto the sales ground, the place was buzzing with excitement. Several big named mares would be selling that night and people near and far were coming to watch.

    As the first call came in, I met up with Dr. Kristina Lu to start checking mares post sale. Depending on if the mare is pregnant or not, dictates what is done on post sale inspection. If the mare is pregnant, she needs to be rectally palpated to make sure she is pregnant, the baby is alive and to do a general assessment of the mares reproductive tract. If the mare is a maiden or barren, she needs to be rectally palpated and her reproductive tract assessed as well as having the mares vaginal vault and cervix visually inspected via vaginal speculum. Our first mare was a kind broodmare who knew the drill. After spending most of her life producing great racehorses, she stood quietly for Dr. Lu to perform the post sales pregnancy check.

    Once the first mare was done, the list of horses to check continued to grow. The entire night I went stall to stall with Dr. Lu to do post sale evaluations of numerous different mares. Sometimes we were told of the sales amount, but no matter the sales price, the routine stayed the same. Through the entire sale time, Dr.Lu and myself rarely paused but we both had smiles on our faces because we were doing what we loved.

    One of the few breaks that we did have happened to coincide with the horse of the year, Havre de Grace, selling. The best way to describe the air at Fasig- Tipton is electric. The amount of anticipation was high and everyone around seemed to pause his or her important duties to watch this graceful mare sell. I stood in the back walking ring watching the monitors with baited breath. The auctioneers started the bidding and it quickly climbed. At five million, people started holding their breath. As the mare’s price soared to seven million, the auctioneer seemed to pause. People started taking pictures of the price but the excitement was slightly premature as the price continued to climb. Once the amount reached 10 million, the auctioneer asked the audience to hold their applause till the mare safely left the sales pavilion. I personally had to hold my jaw as it had fallen long before the gavel did. I was witnessing history. Due to my location, I was able to walk back towards the walking path as HDG regally walked past on her journey to her stall and ultimately to her new home.

    While the excitement of HDG selling lingered in the cool night air, the sale wasn’t over and the post sale inspections were far from over. As we continued looking at mares through the night, the value of horseflesh that I touched climbed but it wasn’t the most expensive mare that I touched who was on my favorites list. It was the kind eyed mare whose owners parted with her so they could pay for their son’s college education. It was the big bay mare who towered over me but sweetly dropped her soft muzzle to my chest in her way of asking for love. It was the young racing mare who was nervous about the process but took it all in stride. It was the group of owners who just sold their first horse, making a profit and joyfully celebrating their success. And it was the previous owner who made the trek to watch the mare he used to own and still loved, sell to her new owner. No matter the price, it was the stories and personalities that impressed me the most.

    I was fortunate to witness history and enjoyed a night of excitement at Fasig-Tipton. It was a sale that I will never forget.


    December 18, 2012

    Dr. Ashley Craig

    The American Association of Equine Practitioners holds an annual convention that practitioners and students alike can attend. The location rotates every year and the convention always seems to offer fun mixed in with great educational opportunities. As an intern, I got the privilege of attending the convention in Anaheim, California next door to Disneyland!

    “Amazing”- is the only word that I can use to sum up the whirlwind four days that I spent at the AAEP convention. I flew out to California on Friday afternoon. Luckily, a fellow Tuskegee graduate and friend was on the same flight as me, so she and I got to catch up as we flew cross-country. Upon landing, I met up and caught a taxi with fellow Twitter friend- Dr. Nathan Voris. It was nice to spend the cab ride to the hotel discussing his job, my internship and the ins and outs of veterinary medicine. Parting ways at the hotel, I luckily got to meet up with my brother who drove down through L.A. traffic to have dinner with me. After spending some quality time with my older sibling, I headed straight to bed because I had an early start the next morning!

    One of the main reasons I got to attend the AAEP Convention was due to my position on the Student Relations Committee. The AAEP has an executive board, board of directors and several committees that help direct the organization. The Student Relations Committee is involved in directing the student AAEP chapters at veterinary schools, providing the short courses at the schools, choosing scholarship winners, and handling most student related programming. Last year, I was chosen as one of two students to join the committee. As a strong believer in organized veterinary medicine, I was honored to be a part of not only the AAEP but also a committee.

    Walking into the meeting, I took a look around and was excited to see three board of directors attending; students are important to the future of the profession! The agenda was detailed but the meeting went smoothly and ultimately the discussions were educational and important decisions made. Once the committee meeting was over, the discussions continued. I got to sit down with friend and mentor, Dr. Betsy Charles, for further talks relating to students, programming and also catching up on each other’s lives. What was supposed to just be a coffee turned into a three-hour conversation, which only ended because our other obligations started. It was a great time catching up with a great friend and someone who I respect greatly. That evening I headed off to spend the evening with two amazing ladies from the clinic, Nicole and Jamie. It was so enjoyable to spend time with these two friends away from the hustle and bustle of the clinic while also roaming around and socializing with other veterinarians and friends.

    As Sunday started, the opening ceremonies and the keynote speaker officially started the educational part of the convention. With my fellow Hagyard’s field care doctors, Dr. Ernie Martinez and Dr. Stuart Brown, we tweeted the important messages from every meeting that we attended (follow us on twitter! We are entertaining and educational!). With a calendar full of educational topics, hot button issues and round table discussions, I bounced from room to room to absorb as much information as possible. Sunday and Monday were filled with information and flew by. Sunday afternoon, I got to attend the student luncheon and meet several members of the AAEP executive board. The chance to discuss issues in depth with the leaders of the industry was a once in a lifetime chance. That evening, I got to attend the Avenues event where students roam around and network with practices from across the country. Speaking with students about my internship, Hagyard and passing along my personal advice to them, was a great time. Meeting future equine practitioners is always enjoyable and working at such a great practice where I get amazing experiences made speaking with students even more fun! As a special treat after Avenues, I got to spend some time at Disneyland, courtesy of Pfizer, with Dr. Wolfsdorf, theriogenologist at Hagyard. It was a night of fun, enjoyment and the kid in me coming out.

    After another day of exciting lectures and more networking, I finished the evening having dinner with several doctors from the practice. All too soon, it was time for me to board the plane and resume my duties in the field. So while I have described the convention as “Amazing”, one word doesn’t justify the time I had at the convention. While the education and committee meetings were very beneficial, I firmly believe that the greatest part of the convention, for me, was the networking opportunities. The chance to meet practitioners from all over the country, speak with the leaders of the equine veterinary world, and widen my network was the greatest part of the AAEP convention. Even though the jet lag hit hard once I hit Kentucky, I wouldn’t trade my time in California for anything. I came back even more determined to make my mark on the equine veterinary world. As I continue working, I hope to apply the lessons and knowledge that I acquired in my short time at the AAEP convention.

    Advice for Veterinary Students

    November 28, 2012

    Dr. Ashley Craig
    So this entry really is focused more towards the veterinary students who are thinking of doing an equine internship. If you are a practitioner, please feel free to leave comments on advice or suggestions you have for veterinary students. If you are an owner, trainer, horse lover or just an avid reader of the Hagyard Intern Blog- I hope this entry doesn’t bore you too much!!!

    As a first year veterinary student, a senior veterinary student gave me some great advice; it was this advice that led me down the path to an amazing internship at Hagyard. The student suggested that I do externships every summer of veterinary school. For some, this might seem like over kill, but for me it worked. The summer after my first year, I only completed one externship, but I started doing research and made my game plan for my future. Each summer, Christmas break, and spring break, I spent my time at different veterinary clinics completing externships. In the end, I was able to choose the internship that was the best fit for me when multiple internships were offered.

    So how did I decide where to go and which clinic was the best fit for me? Here is how I went about it.

    1. Look for clinics that focus on your area of interest. If you don’t know what area of equine medicine interests you, look at clinics with well-rounded internships.
    2. Environment- With this one, I am not talking about the weather or surroundings but more about the people. Do you like the practitioners? Do you like the staff? In 10 years, can you envision yourself being a practitioner at that clinic and being happy? Your work environment is important to consider when choosing an internship. Look at how the current interns are treated- this is a great view of how you will be treated in the internship.
    3. Mentorship- this has been a big buzzword in the past several years especially in the small animal world but it isn’t over-hyped. Mentorship is important to your career and future. Does the internship provide adequate mentorship or do they just turn you loose on day one? Are your mentors truly available to you at any time? How much supervision do you need or want in your internship?
    4. Location- Yes, you can do anything for a year but if you are unhappy with your location it makes for a difficult year. If you can’t stand the cold- don’t look in Colorado!
    5. Values- If your ethics do not align with the ethics of the practitioners, that clinic is probably not a good fit for you. In the same instance, if you are focused on good business practices, the clinic you do an internship at should also have good business practices.
    6. The right clinic for Suzie Shoes might not be the right clinic for Joe Smith, so don’t judge a clinic by someone else’s experience, rumors or preconceived ideas.

    Ultimately, I personally suggest visiting multiple clinics of different size and styles to find what works best for you. What you have in your head that you want as a first year student isn’t always what fits you best.

    So how about when you get there. The following are my tips on how to get the most out of an externship.

    During the externship:
    1. Be yourself. Even the world’s best actors or actresses can’t keep up the act for a year. If you present yourself in a normal fashion, the practice can see if you are a good fit for them as well.
    2. Learn as much as possible- Do this by listening, reading up on cases at night, following up with the practitioners, and asking questions at the appropriate time (aka not in front of the client, or while the practitioner is on the phone).
    3. Carry a small notebook to write down details about cases, tips the practitioner gives or the 50 things you will learn each day.
    4. If you are asked a question and truly don’t know the answer- be honest.
    5. Manners go a long way. Be nice to everyone- including technicians, barn staff, owners, etc. Ask the technicians if there is anything you can do to help such as carrying buckets or equipment, but don’t step on their toes.
    6. Don’t sit in the car texting, checking emails, or even talking on the phone. It demonstrates to most people a lack of respect.
    7. Take pictures of the cases (as long as you have the practitioner’s permission) so you can remember and share them with classmates later. BUT DON’T post them on Facebook!!! As a rule of thumb, keep everything off Facebook, even if you don’t think it could be traced back to a clinic or horse, it is best not to put it there.
    8. Pack a lunch. During the busy season, you never know when you are going to get a chance to eat or stop for lunch. If you have snacks or even a sandwich packed, it makes life easier and you can handle the long days like a pro =)
    9. Don’t expect to get to do much technically, but be prepared to if you get the opportunity!

    And in the end, have fun and learn as much as you can. Even if the clinic doesn’t end up being the right one for you- as long as you have learned a lot, it is a beneficial experience. Enjoy your time as an extern and make friends with your fellow externs- you never know who will be your intern-mate in the future!

    Pinterest Project

    November 7, 2012
    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — webmaster@hagyard.com @ 8:10 pm

    Wine Bottle Candle

    Wine Bottle Candles

    Dr. Ashley Craig
    Have you ever heard of Pinterest? Better yet, have you ever completed a craft off of Pinterest? The Field Care interns at Hagyard can say yes to both of these questions!

    If you are currently sitting there and wondering what Pinterest is, no need to search, I can explain! Pinterest is a social media site, similar to Facebook or Twitter, where people can make accounts and share things that they like such as recipes, projects, clothes, home decorations, or numerous other things. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, where words are the dominate form of communication, Pinterest is predominantly pictures. So when I want to share a recipe I like, I can pin a picture of the finished product to my Pinterest Board (envision a cork board on a virtual wall) and all of my friends can see it. I can also pin pictures of things I find online that I would like to try as well as browse my friends’ boards.

    While the internship at Hagyard is full of learning and work, the interns also get chances to relax and enjoy other things in life. One such evening happened after a long day working at the Keeneland Fall Sale. The Field Care interns decided to grill out at Bo’s (fellow internmate) house and enjoy a relaxing evening after an eventful day. A friend of Bo’s, who was also in attendance at the cookout, had recently seen a cool project on Pinterest where you can make candle holders out of wine bottles. Armed with the supplies to complete this project, we all joined in on the fun. Basically the finished product is the top ¾ of the wine bottle placed over a small teak candle. The prettier the bottle or label, the more interesting the candle holder will become. To accomplish this, you need an empty bottle of wine, cotton string, acetone, lighter, and a bucket of cold water.
    You first place the cotton string around the base of the bottle, soak the string in acetone, light the string on fire, and let it burn for almost a minute. Once the time is complete or the fire has burned out, you place the bottle in cold water. This causes the bottom of the bottle to crack off and then you have your candle holder! Bo and Jackie started off the project but both were extremely cautious and ended up wearing oven mitts and safety goggles. Better to be safe than sorry when playing with fire, gas and flammable substances! The first bottle worked perfectly, the second took several tries until it finally decided to crack.

    Ultimately the project was a success and gave us two candle holders to use for our next evening cookout. It also was a lot of fun and allowed all of the parties involved to laugh and try our hands at something different! A change of pace is always welcomed and allows us to refresh our minds for the next day filled with hard work and challenges.

    Life on the Road

    October 9, 2012
    Bourbon Chase Team

    Life on the Road by Dr. Jackie Snyder

    As an ambulatory intern at the biggest equine clinic in the world, I am quickly learning how to live life on the road.   I have already put several thousand miles on my SUV on the beautiful, windy roads of central Kentucky.  I have a spill proof coffee mug & water bottle, snacks stowed away for days when lunch doesn’t happen, and a great playlist on my iPod for a pick me up between farm calls.  Thus, I thought I would be prepared for a 30 hour road trip with some fellow coworkers, and their family and friends. We were embarking on an adventure called the “Bourbon Chase.” We had spent months training for this 200 mile relay run, but all of the preparation and training in the world  could not prepare us for the mental and physical challenge we were about to put ourselves through. I quickly found out that our road trip was going to test even the most experienced ambulatory practitioners.

    The race started off at the Maker’s Mark Distillery. Our team consisted of 12 runners; each running three legs of the race to cover 200 miles into downtown Lexington.  We would run through the night, decked out in our reflective gear and headlamps.  Each suburban (with six runners and one driver) would take turns making stops for a couple hours of sleep on the gym floor in Danville, grabbing food, and finding real bathrooms.  We would run through the Wild Turkey, Four Roses, and Woodford Reserve distilleries before running past many of the beautiful horse farms we work on, and into downtown Lexington.

    A big challenge for any ambulatory practitioner is keeping your truck stocked appropriately.  So what did we have to stock to make it through this journey?

    -         Over 24,000 mgs of NSAIDs

    -         About 1200 ounces of Gatorade/Powerade (That’s enough to fill a small swimming pool!)

    -         4 pairs of ear plugs so that we can sleep through the snoring (we should have brought more!)

    -         18 sticks of deodorant (yes- there were extras)

    -         48 pairs of socks

    -         7 sleeping bags (Yes, not quite enough)

    -         Numerous Shot Blocks, Gatorade Performance gels, & Gu gels

    -         1 Big Mac & fries (Any guesses on the consumer?)

    I was very proud of our team. A great deal of time, dedication, and training went into crossing that finish line 200 miles later. We suffered greatly (two toenails were lost during the run), but we suffered together and that’s what made it so much fun.  Each individual had a specific task to accomplish, and none of us could have made it without our team.  Honestly,
    it reminds me a lot of our practice. Everyone has their own clients and responsibilities, but at the end of the day it is a team effort to get the job done.

    I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone that supported us by either covering on-call duties for us, sending us words of encouragement, or showing up to watch us cross that finish line.  Finally, thank you to Runovia for sponsoring our team!  GO TEAM HAGYARD!!

    Team Hagyard was brought to you by…

    Lindsey “The Pharmacy” Roberts

    Luke “The Duke” Fallon

    Jenn “Take 3min off my time” Feiner

    Ernie “Big E” Martinez

    Rocky “Balboa” Mason

    Wendy “Smile for the Camera” Mason

    Gerrod “The Flash” Green

    Laura “EPF” Riley

    CJ “Where’s my MATE” Smith

    Jackie “Livin’ the Dream” Snyder

    Jill “Just Wingin’ It” Westerholm

    Amber “13.1” Gebhard

    The Betsy & Hagyard Challenge Series

    September 28, 2012

    by Ashley Craig

    Betsy Fishback, late wife of Dr. Dave Fishback, has left a legacy that includes not only memories of her love and passion for horses, but also the final Grand Prix event in the Hagyard Challenge Series and Gala named in her honor, The Betsy. Betsy Fishback battled breast cancer for many years. While I never had the privilege of meeting Betsy while she was alive, I did have the honor of attending the event and fundraiser for the Markey Cancer Foundation commemorating her grand life. In addition, the Markey Cancer Foundation has provided treatment and support for a number of Hagyard employees and other family members. In its first three years, The Betsy raised over $320,000 for the Markey Cancer Foundation. This year an additional $100,000 was raised. This is another, wonderful example of Hagyard making a positive impact in the community.

    For the evening, I was not only excited to attend The Betsy Gala but it also gave me an opportunity to dress up and socialize with friends, clients and co-workers. For someone who is in khakis and polos day in and day out, getting to dress up is always a nice change of pace! Upon arrival at the Alltech Indoor Arena, my favorite dispatch person, Kitty, greeted me and quickly pointed me in the right direction just as she always does. She was volunteering for the Markey Cancer Foundation that evening and helping collect donations for the cause. She has become my second mother during my time at Hagyard especially since she is in charge of keeping me in the right place at the right time!

    After locating my fellow intern mates, co-workers, clients and friends, I started socializing, enjoying the appetizers and viewing the silent auction items. The silent auction held a variety of items ranging from a painting, a hand carved wooden ball, all the way to a large plasma TV with accessories. Dinner soon followed and the live auction was held just as attendees were finishing their meal and beginning to enjoy the dessert spread.

    Once the meal was completed, the Grand Prix began. Most fundraisers cannot boast that they have a steep competition filled with great horse and rider combinations, large prize money, and are also a qualifier for the World Cup, but The Betsy can! The challenging Grand Prix course was met by 36 riders including four recent US Olympic Team riders. After all of the rounds were completed, the jump-off took place. Finally, recent Olympic rider and Lexington resident, Reed Kessler took the top prize with her horse, Mika. Both of her rides on dual entries were spectacular to watch and all of the riders in the jump off were amazing to view! The speed, agility and talent that these teams possess is phenomenal to witness.

    All in all, the evening was very enjoyable, filled with great food, amazing entertainment, and wonderful company all in the name of a great cause! After having lost several friends to cancer, it was nice to see a veterinary hospital organize an event that gives such large donations to help fund cancer research and treatment.

    Keeneland – From a Different Perspective

    September 14, 2012
    Filed under: Uncategorized — webmaster@hagyard.com @ 1:33 pm

    Sales Pavillion

    Growing up in Central Kentucky, I would have to be unobservant to not notice when the Keeneland Sales were going on. As a kid, I always looked forward to driving down Versailles Road and seeing the large plane stationed at the end of the runway during the sales. As a teenager and adult, I often planned my driving and dining around Keeneland as roadways and restaurants become congested with people in for the sales. Now as an intern, I have a new perspective on Keeneland.

    The weeks leading up to Keeneland were filled with taking pre-sales radiographing surveys. For people not familiar with this, it is 36 radiographic views (x-rays) that Keeneland requires for each horse entered in the sale. These radiographs help buyers determine if there are any problems in the joints of these horses that could hinder their racing career. So the almost 4000 yearlings entered in the sales need 36 shots of their joints which equals a lot of radiographing! Every day for almost two weeks, I was out on the road with a different veterinarian taking radiographs. It was a long two weeks but I learned a lot about the appropriate angles to take certain shots at, how to maximize the diagnostic function of radiographs and what to look for in each view. Again, I can’t stress how good of teachers I had during those times. They were great about taking the time out of their busy schedules to teach me all they could.

    The opening evening of the Keeneland sales was the first time I was on the grounds as a veterinarian. Dr. Sam Schalnus, one of the greatest teachers at Hagyards, was scheduled to be at the sales with me during the first day. Before the hustle and bustle of the first sales session started, Dr. Schalnus showed me around the veterinary world of the Keeneland Sales. I got to see the repository where all of the radiographs that were taken are stored. I got a special code that allowed me access to a veterinary only room; no worries it isn’t that exciting- it is just where a couple of computers are located. Then we went to meet Kathy from Hagyard who helps field all the phone calls and requests from people who need a veterinarian at the sale. After the brief tour, I hung out in the back walking ring with my fellow interns who are pros at the Thoroughbred sales and they helped educate me as well. As a Saddlebred rider, what we like in conformation is vastly different than what Thoroughbred trainers want due to the difference in function of the horses, so my intern mates helped me see what racehorse people like.

    Not long after the start of the sale, Kathy called me to let me know she had some people at different barns that needed a veterinarian. As soon as the first call finished, I was sent to the next barn. This continued the whole night as Dr. Schalnus and myself went around fulfilling the requests of each client. Not all calls were complicated. Some just required bloodwork and paperwork so the horse could start the export process to another country. Others were a little more involved such as one yearling who needed some mineral oil and water to relieve a slight impaction.

    As the night progressed, it was great to see exactly how the behind the scenes worked. The Keeneland staff pays attention to every detail to make sure that the sales run easily, the staff at the barns are on full alert to their horses, the owners and potential buyers, and the veterinary staff are always close at hand to handle most requests. The first session ended on a very high note as the high seller of the day was the next to last horse and he sold for $1.65 million. Dr. Schalnus and I just happen to have hit a slow moment and got to watch the colt sell while standing in the barn he was located. This beautiful colt waltzed passed me on the way to his stall after commanding the attention of all in the sale ring. Hopefully in a couple years I will get the pleasure of watching him waltz to the winner’s circle!

    My first sales session was a memorable one and I look forward to many more days of calls, taking and reading radiographs, and learning from the great veterinarians at Hagyard at the Keeneland sales and meets.

    Opportunities in Equine Practice

    September 7, 2012
    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — webmaster@hagyard.com @ 5:09 pm


    Two years ago I was a third year veterinary student attending Opportunities in Equine Practice Seminar (OEPS) held in Lexington, Kentucky. Being a Kentucky girl, this was a great excuse to come home for the weekend, show my classmates the beauty of Central Kentucky and learn more about a future in the equine veterinary world. Now as an Intern, I am getting to experience OEPS from a different perspective. The two years since I attended OEPS as a student has flown by, things in my life have definitely changed, and I am ecstatic to be living my dream- the constant smile on my face is testament to how much I love what I do.

    As a student at OEPS, I enjoyed listening to the practitioners speak about life as an equine vet; so many of my questions about internships were answered during that amazing weekend and my decision to pursue a career in equine veterinary medicine was confirmed yet again. As a veterinarian at OEPS, I have enjoyed seeing friends from across the country, meeting students interested in equine medicine, but most of all, I have gotten to share my personal experience and passion for equine medicine to future equine veterinarians. In preparation for OEPS, my internmates and I got together and made a humorous video for the students. It just goes to show you that an equine internship isn’t all work and no play; we make time to enjoy ourselves and find ways to laugh even during the busiest of times.

    Life as a Hagyard Intern – click for video.

    It doesn’t seem possible that only two months have past since I started as a field care intern at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Every day is filled with opportunities to learn and grow as a veterinarian. Being an intern at a prestigious clinic like Hagyard, is not only an honor but also a great opportunity. On July 2nd, I walked through the front doors of Hagyard as a newcomer and full of anxiety about living up to the standards of such an amazing clinic. This anxiousness was quickly laid to rest, as every single veterinarian and staff member was full of kind words and open arms. As a young veterinarian, there is a steep learning curve in your first year; as a Hagyard Intern, the steep learning curve is filled with seasoned vets constantly encouraging you and helping you along this journey. Everyone wants to see you succeed and is willing to go out of their way to help you achieve great success. My intern class is also extremely lucky as all of the field care interns knew each other before we started our internship and consider each other great friends; at the end of the day it is helpful to have close friends who know exactly what you are going through and can be there to grill out and laugh with you through it all.

    Riding along with different field veterinarians and meeting all of their clients dominated the first month of my internship. While July in Central Kentucky is considered a slow time of year, the caseload is still far greater than most academic institutes. I would be lying if I said I didn’t go home at night mentally and physically tired. Every day I learned an incredible amount of information and gave myself plenty of homework assignments to review before the next day. For those who think learning stops when you graduate from veterinary school, you are wrong. Veterinary school is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to knowledge acquisition. Studying, post-graduation, is more in-depth than just studying for a test; it is studying for life. Every vet at Hagyard is great about teaching, talking through cases, and helping weave the knowledge I acquired from veterinary school in with the practical field knowledge. One day that stands out in my mind is a day I spent with Dr. Stuart Brown, President of Hagyard and fellow Tuskegee Alumni. In the process of discussing a weanling we had seen, we got into the discussion about pneumonia which lead to an in depth learning session where we tied together the pathophysiology, anatomy, clinical presentation, diagnostics, and treatment. To summarize- that was information gleaned from 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year and 4th year of veterinary school, some of which I never thought could be clinically applicable- but I was wrong! I am lucky to say that Hagyard has some of the best equine vets in the world but they are also the best teachers.

    One of the great things about being a field care intern at Hagyard is the flexibility. This internship allows you to work with a vast amount of veterinarians and learn different approaches or styles to equine medicine. This allows you to learn from the best minds in the practice, and pick and choose how you want to practice veterinary medicine. The large number of practitioners in the clinic is a definite plus; it is like being on “Who Wants to be A Millionaire” and having 38 lifelines. There is always someone a phone call away whether it is in the middle of the night and you need to discuss a case, or you are studying and need some clarification.

    Another great aspect of the field care internship at Hagyards is the opportunity to spend time in the surgery and medicine departments. The time spent in the other departments not only provides you a chance to view how things are done in those areas, but also a different perspective and additional learning opportunities. My second month as an intern had me at the McGee Medicine Center learning from practitioners who not only are on the forefront of equine medicine but also in many cases, wrote the book about it! The second night I was on call gave me plenty of chances to learn. Starting at 5pm, only 15 minutes after being home, I received a phone call that a patient was colicing and I was needed back at the clinic. As soon as that patient was stable, another emergency was on its way in- this time it was a neurologic patient who could not stand. After working with the second emergency for several hours, the third emergency came through the door just after midnight. By 3 am, the third emergency was semi-stable and I headed home for a couple hours sleep. At 4 am, the technician monitoring emergency number 3 notified me that it was uncomfortable again; so back to the clinic I went! At 5 am, horse number 3 was sent to surgery, which I got to watch for a short period of time before I headed back to medicine to take care of my other patients and come up with the treatment plans for the day. This steady flow of emergencies was just the experience that I needed to help build my confidence and teach me how to handle these situations. The entire night I was supported by an amazing primary doctor who was there every step of the way, allowing me to take a large role in the cases while also knowing my limitations, and wonderful technicians who are blessed with years of experience and expert training also helped me. This night was just one of many where the learning opportunities were abundant. My time at the McGee Medicine center was well spent and took my medical knowledge to the next level.

    As I enter the third month of my internship, I am excited to be back in the field. It is sales time in Central Kentucky and that means radiographs, radiographs, and more radiographs before the sale. This past week, I took over 700 radiographs (or x-rays) in one day! Shortly, I will be working at the Keeneland sale and watching the next generation of Thoroughbred racehorses sell. As an owner and exhibitor of Saddlebred show horses, this is a different side of the horse business than I am use to, but I am excited to be a part of it!

    Stay tuned for more stories from myself and other interns at Hagyard as we document our internship and give you a glimpse into our lives as new equine veterinarians! I have left a great deal of stories out of my summary of my first two months, but don’t worry- they will make it into the blog at some point. I hope you enjoy my experiences as much as I have and continue to do. The life of an intern is full of hard work, lots of learning, and as much fun as you can imagine!

    Life as an Intern – Dr. Ashley Craig

    September 4, 2012
    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — webmaster@hagyard.com @ 1:45 pm

    Dr. Ashley Craig

    Welcome to the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Intern Blog. Whether you are a student, owner, or seasoned veterinarian, we hope that you find this blog an entertaining and insightful look into the life of an equine intern. As the first of many interns posting, I feel it is my duty to give you a good southern welcome! So who am I? My name is Ashley E. Craig. I am a Central Kentucky native who just recently graduated from veterinary school at Tuskegee University, in Alabama. I joined the Hagyard’s Team this summer as a Field Care Intern.

    So how did I get here and how did I decide to become an Equine Veterinarian? Like most little girls, I grew up loving animals. I told my parents when I was just 4 years old that I wanted to become a veterinarian. Throughout my childhood my parents were kind enough to allow me to have a multitude of dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, fish and even a horse! My mother never had to worry about finding a babysitter for me; all she had to do was drop me off at the barn. As I grew older, I enjoyed not only working with the horses but also working with the veterinarians that came to the barn. To say the least, I was, and still am, inquisitive and full of questions! The equine vets who answered a young girl’s questions are the ones who helped me realize that the veterinary world was my calling in life. I truly found my passion after working at a large American Saddlebred breeding farm during my undergraduate college years. It was there that I got my first experience working with stallions, broodmares and foals. This passion for the breeding side of veterinary medicine is what drives me to this day. There is nothing quite like it! After graduating from Georgetown College with a Biology degree, I took two years off of school before going to veterinary school. During this time I worked at another Saddlebred breeding farm as the stallion manager (starting to see a trend here?). Once in veterinary school at Tuskegee, I was heavily involved in our student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA). I am honored to say I was the 2011 National VBMA President and also the student representative on AAEP’s Student Relations Committee.

    After years of my life being spent in the classroom, I am excited to start my life in the field. The life of an intern is filled with tons of learning, fun at every corner, and a year of personal and professional growth. I hope throughout this year you follow along and read as myself and the other interns share their day-to-day life and uncloak some of the mystery behind the life of an Intern.

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