AO VET’s Bramlage to Lead Investigation into Death of Breeder’s Cup Classic Competitor
12 November 2019
A globally renowned equine orthopedic surgeon and key figure in the development of AO VET equine education has been chosen to spearhead an independent investigation into injuries that led to the death of a Breeders’ Cup Classic competitor last weekend at Santa Anita Park in California (US).
Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, DACVS—a partner at acclaimed Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky (US) and long-time AO VET faculty member—has been selected by the Breeders’ Cup to lead an investigation into injuries leading to the death of four-year-old gelding Mongolian Groom, the fourth fatality at Santa Anita in the past two months. The spotlight has been on the newly renovated racetrack surface. The old surface played a role in the thirty-three fatalities that occurred during the past January through March winter race meet where twenty inches more than the average rainfall precipitated an abnormally high injury rate.
Multiple improvements resulted a greatly reduced injury rate, but Mongolian Groom suffered a catastrophic injury to his left hind leg during the Breeders’ Cup Classic—widely considered the premier horse racing event of the year, with a $6 million purse—and was subsequently euthanized. In a statement, Breeders’ Cup Ltd. called the horse’s death “a loss to the entire horse racing community” and underlined its commitment to equine and human athletes’ safety.
“Breeders’ Cup has engaged world-renowned veterinarian, Dr. Larry Bramlage, to conduct an independent evaluation, the results of which will be published when completed,” the statement said.
Bramlage, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgery (ACVS), is past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and of the ACVS. He has earned a vast array of professional honours including the British Equine Veterinary Association’s Special Award of Merit, and the ACVS Legends Award for development of the fetlock arthrodesis procedure for horses in 2009. In the history of AO VET, Bramlage stands out as a key figure in the advancement of equine fracture repair: He was co-author of the AO Principles of Equine Osteosynthesis. Moreover, Bramlage is an esteemed faculty member for the AO VET Course—Principles in Equine Fracture Management at top-ranked Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine where he served his residency.
Dr. Bramlage will share his expertise at the AO VET North America course Principles in Equine Fracture Management April 16-19, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio.