Surgery on Swedish Olympic Event Horse a Success, Vets Say

Swedish event rider Magnus Gallerdal's 2008 Olympic mount, Keymaster, sustained a hairline fracture of the first phalanx (long pastern bone) of his right foreleg August 11, during the cross-country portion of the Olympic eventing competition in Hong Kong.

Keymaster was transported by equine ambulance to the Hong Kong Jockey Club's veterinary clinic, where on August 12 Olympic head treating veterinarian Jack Snyder, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, of the United States, performed surgery, said Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) foreign veterinary delegate Leo Jeffcott, MA, BVetMed, PhD, FRCVS, DVSc, VetMedDr, of Australia. As the X ray images show, Snyder inserted four screws during the procedure, which is relatively routine, generally taking only 60 to 90 minutes.

 Keymaster radiograph prior to surgery

Radiographs of Keymaster before and after surgery.

"The good news is that the bone had not displaced," Jeffcott said, thereby making complications less likely. Although veterinarians cannot predict whether Keymaster will ever return to top-level eventing competition, "pasture soundness," at the very least, is very likely, he said.

Keymaster, horse injured during eventing equestrian competition at 2008 Olympic games


Keymaster was scheduled to recuperate in Hong Kong and then ship home to Sweden with the jumpers, Olympic officials said.

Don't miss the Olympic Equestrian blog by award-winning equestrian journalist Jennifer Bryant. She will be giving us behind-the-scenes looks at what's happening at the Olympic equestrian events.

About the Author

Jennifer O. Bryant

Jennifer O. Bryant is editor-at-large of the U.S. Dressage Federation's magazine, USDF Connection. An independent writer and editor, Bryant contributes to many equestrian publications, has edited numerous books, and authored Olympic Equestrian. More information about Jennifer can be found on her site,

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