With a little under two months to go before the May test events are held (Eventing May 11-15 and Driving May 18-22), which will be a real rehearsal for the FEI World Championships 2022 (September 15-25), a Vet Day was hosted last Saturday at the Pratoni del Vivaro.
This event consisted of a meeting of the veterinary staff that will be on duty at these two events and the day was divided into a morning working session held indoors, followed by a practical exercise on the course that will host the cross-country (eventing) and the marathon (driving).
Doctor Carlo Bolaffio, one of the founders of the Equivet Roma Hospital, is the director of this staff and he explained to us the ‘Vet Day” objectives and how his team will work at the May test events as well as during the September Championships.
“Vet Day provided us with an important opportunity to analyse the rules to be applied at the World Championships, even those involving a simple request for medicines. Together with the local veterinary authorities in Rocca di Papa, all the certificates and procedures required at international level for both the arrival and departure of horses were developed and defined.. We then inspected the isolation area that has twenty stables, to eventually be used for horses having particular or infective symptoms. In the afternoon we walked the cross-country course with Giuseppe Della Chiesa (show director for the FEI World Championships 2022 – Editor’s Note) and simulated various scenarios that may occur should horses experience problems in the course of the competitions. The more we work together before the event and the more we will have a close team and one ready to achieve the best results.”
What are the main precautions taken regards to health welfare?
“It will be essential to work doing our very best during the days on which the horses arrive, meticulously checking all the paperwork linked to their transport starting with vaccinations and top-level management of logistics. We will, for example, ensure that horses that have travelled together do not come into contact with those arriving on other horseboxes, until we have completed pragmatic operations analysing all health documentation that precedes their entering the stables. Particular attention will be paid to protocols concerning taking their temperature and every rider will be given a thermometer to be used exclusively for their own horse so that there will be no risk caused by it being used by others.”
Bolaffio, who has a significant past as a rider when he competed in eventing as a young man (winning two Italian Young Riders Championships and competing twice in the same category at the European Championships) also explained who will be part of the staff he will be responsible for at the Pratoni del Vivaro.
“For the World Championships and therefore also at the test events, there will be a working group significantly larger than what we are used to, for example, at an eventing Nations Cup. As required by the FEI, the main nucleus will include about a dozen people; ten veterinary surgeons, a technical vet and a person responsible for the secretary’s office. I will be the person in charge and coordinate the work of all the others. Everyone will have a very specific job, starting with first aid out on the course. This group will be supported by about ten volunteers, all veterinary students coming from various Italian universities (Milan, Turin, Bologna, Pisa, Perugia, Teramo and Naples – Editor’s Note), and by three foreign veterinarians specialised in particular in eventing and driving. We will be relying on Turin and Perugia universities as far as diagnostics and consultations for X-Ray images are concerned.”
Photo credits © Massimo Argenziano:
The group of vets who attended 'Vet-Day'
Dr. Carlo Bolaffio