Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dubai Wrap Up - Heather Reynolds - Heather's Blog

Wednesday, 14 January 2015
by Heather Reynolds

Pictured above: Riverwatch on his 3rd loop

We went to the race venue on Friday afternoon. We walked around briefly and then had lunch there. The venue was beautiful. The permanent vet check makes it very nice and established.

The hold area is landscaped. You arrive off of the trail on a track with gaurdrails. You go through something that looks like a ticket window counter. There is a walkway/bridge to get from the one side of the venue to the other, above the ticket counter window/walk throughs (kind of like you are entering a castle). There are about 6 or so arrival walk throughs. There is also a tower on both sides of the bridge for the announcer to view the race from.

The horse wears a GPS tracking system which is on a headstall that is put on by the vet staff when you vet in. It stays on for the whole event. This system is the system that registers your arrival time. When the horse passes through the arrival gate (ticket window) it registers to a computer system. Then you proceed across the cooling area. This is a wide area with many, many garbage cans full of water to cool the horses from. In this section, whoever designed it had great foresight. The whole ground is covered with rubber mats and there is a drainage system to recycle the water. If you have ever done mass crewing with a lot of water, you would appreciate the fact that you won't be in a swamp of crazy mud by the middle of the race. From the cooling area you proceed through another electronic time gate for your pulse. Once the horses crosses over that line your recovery time is recorded. Then the vet takes your heart rate with a hand held heart rate monitor and the pulse displays on a big digital read out so anyone watching can see the pulse. This area is very nice, green grass. Then you proceed to the trot out lanes, again being very nice green grass. You stand for vetting as usual and then, when ready, you trot down and back on the manicured grass lane for the vet...

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