New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Announces Second Annual Scoping

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Racing Association (NYTHA) is teaming up with Merial, a leading animal healthcare company, to bring free endoscopic ulcer screening to horses at Belmont Park. After a very successful program at Churchill Downs last month, Belmont is the latest stop in a national equine gastric ulcer screening program to examine the nation's most competitive racehorses for equine gastric ulcers, which previous studies have shown exists in 9 out of 10 of these equine athletes. Merial's growing equine health education campaign was designed to educate horsemen, owners and trainers about the dangers of equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS).

"As supporters of equine research and providers of benevolence to the backstretch community, the NYTHA is pleased to have the scoping program on-site at Belmont again this year," explains Dennis Brida, thoroughbred trainer and 1st Vice President, NYTHA. "With limited access to endoscopes nationwide, it is rewarding to be able to bring this diagnostic tool to those who can benefit."

The screening will take place on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, June 12-14, 2000. Horse owners or trainers desiring information on the scoping program are encouraged to contact Heliodoro (Gus) Gustines at 917/207-7481, speak to their track veterinarian or call Jon Sendach at 212/527-8831.

"We are not sure why such a high percentage of racehorses have ulcers. But we do know that feeding practices, training and trailering, competing and even hospitalization all contribute to ulcer formation," explains James A. Orsini, D.V.M., Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons and associate professor of surgery, Department of Clinical Studies-New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania. "The problem has been compounded by limited access to state-of-the-art diagnostic screening tools and the fact that until GASTROGARD was introduced, there has been no treatment approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, or proven effective for stomach ulcers while horses remain in training." Dr. Orsini, who will be on-site conducting the endoscopy, will also provide one-on-one consultations with owners and trainers about this condition and the health of their equine athlete.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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