Top-Notch Pro­grams of Equine Su­per­stars

A be­hind-the-•cene• look at four of the na­tion’• mo•t •ucce••ful •porthor•e•’ care rou­tine•.

Practical Horseman - - Special Sporthorse Health Issue - By Eliz­a­beth Iliff Prax

Get a sneak peek into the care rou­tines and man­age­ment sys­tems of four elite horses com­pet­ing in the dis­ci­plines of jump­ing, dres­sage, event­ing and hunters.

To keep horses feel­ing and per­form­ing their best, you have to know their unique quirks and pref­er­ences. This is demon­strated by four of the United States’s cur­rent world-class ath­letes: Na­tions Cup medal-win­ning jumper Zer­e­monie, dres­sage star Rass­ing’s Lonoir, Olympic even­ter Veron­ica and High Per­for­mance hunter cham­pion Cen­ter Court. Zer­e­monie and Veron­ica both love to nap. Veron­ica is also a big fan of acupunc­ture, but Cen­ter Court hates it. He re­quires fre­quent changes in his rou­tine, while Lonoir thrives on pre­dictabil­ity. All four horses are ex­cel­lent trav­el­ers, which is for­tu­nate given how far away from home some of their com­pe­ti­tions are.

To keep these horses healthy and happy, their sup­port teams try to stay one step ahead of any po­ten­tial prob­lems. Veron­ica’s team does pe­ri­odic blood­work to mon­i­tor her health and iden­tify any ad­di­tional nu­tri­tional needs. Lonoir’s rider, Olivia Lagoy-Weltz, sched­ules oc­ca­sional vet­eri­nary well­ness checks, “even when things are go­ing great—just to keep track of what’s go­ing on.”

On the fol­low­ing pages, these teams share how they shape the in­di­vid­ual care rou­tines for each of their equine su­per­stars.

ABOVE: Zer­e­monie (left) with Lord Lu­cio, a foal she had be­fore Laura Kraut owned her. Now grown, Lord Lu­cio is in train­ing with Laura and her part­ner, Nick Skel­ton. ZER­E­MONIE

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