"If you love and care for Thoroughbreds, if watching them gives you pleasure, then help us make the effort to protect them." -- SCEF
he Southern California Equine Foundation (SCEF) evolved more than 30 years ago because the organization’s founders were dedicated people who realized that no organization existed whose sole function was to protect the interests and promote the welfare of the equine athlete.
SCEF, Inc. owns, operates and offers these services in the following Equine Hospital Facilities at the racetracks in these locations:
|Santa Anita, CA||Hollywood Park, CA||Del Mar, CA|
Below: Dr. Rick Arthur performs Orthopedic Surgery
The Southern California Equine Foundation’s foremost accomplishment is the building and operation of the Equine Hospital, located on the Santa Anita backstretch. Dedicated in March 1981 and constructed at a cost of $400,000, the facility became a reality through the cooperation of Santa Anita, which donated the land, and Oak Tree Racing Association, which was responsible for 80 percent of the funding. Aside from those in use at several universities, the facility was without equal.
According to Dr. Gregory Ferraro, one of SCEF’s original founders, it was the hope of the foundation to provide a first-rate, research-oriented facility to conduct studies, as well as an operational facility to care for the present-day equine athlete.
The Equine Hospital was an immediate success, as veterinarians from all sections of the country began using it. Many renowned veterinarians have performed surgeries in the well-equipped operating facility, developing new surgical techniques in the process.
Based on the success of the hospital at Santa Anita, in 1984 SCEF built a new hospital at Hollywood Park in time for the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup. Numerous donors provided funding for this facility, including Marge Everett (then CEO of Hollywood Park) and Dolly Green.
In 1990, when Dolly Green passed away, she generously named SCEF in her will. Those monies helped the Foundation build a Nuclear Scintigraphy facility at Santa Anita in 1993. Not only did veterinarians have the existing $75,000 radiology unit of the hospital available to them, they now had an alternative diagnostic tool useful in finding injuries that regular x-rays could not detect.
The SCEF added a surgical C-arm fluoroscope in 2002. This equipment allows surgeons to position drills and screws precisely using real-time radiography, avoiding time-consuming x-rays during orthopedic surgeries. Veterinarians have discovered that immediate, on-site repair of fractures greatly increases the chances of a racehorse’s recovery.
In late 2004, the Foundation, with the help of Oak Tree Racing Association and Dolly Green Research Foundation, acquired two computed radiography systems. These units, installed at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita, were the first of their kind in the U.S. (human or veterinary). They feature human mammography-quality images designed by FUJI Medical Systems.
Mammography-quality imaging is the high standard used in human medicine and is the finest imaging available in the radiographic community. The SCEF has, from its inception, provided such high-end radiographic quality imaging. SCEF's first "mammography quality" developing system was from Xerox, called "Xerography." When Kodak stepped to the forefront with a radiographic film/screen combination for mammography imaging, the SCEF once again led the veterinary world in converting to this progressive imaging system.
When computed/digital imaging first came on the market, the SCEF waited until this type of imaging reached "mammography" imaging standard. While other units available provide very good "field images," the SCEF is proud to continue to lead the veterinary community with its 50-micron Computed Radiographic Imaging system.
Because of these surgical facilities and diagnostic tools provided by SCEF to the Southern California racing community, veterinarians and the horsemen they serve have been able to return thoroughbreds to successful competition. Additionally, they have been able to save horses for stud duty, the broodmare band, or for future careers as show or riding horses.
The SCEF and racetrack veterinarians recognized the need to develop improved methods of transportation and provide immediate medical attention for a traumatized horse. Thus, they developed an equine ambulance specifically designed for the equine athlete.
Under the direction of Dr. Roy Dillon, the first of these modern ambulances was introduced in the fall of 1979 following a three-year study into the requirements of such a vehicle. Dr. Dillon and John Kimzey combined their efforts to produce the present-day horse ambulance, with Oak Tree Racing Association providing funding of $35,000.
The ambulance proved so successful and so popular with horsemen that a second, more sophisticated model was produced in 1981. This time a road-legal tractor was included that could move the new ambulance from track to track. Oak Tree Racing Association once again provided the $72,000 in funds for this unit.
Oak Tree generously paid for a third unit in 1999. This allows the SCEF to maintain two ambulances at the track conducting live racing and one ambulance at the "off track." The SCEF also provides an ambulance for use at the Pasadena Rose Parade every New Year’s Day, in the event of a horse emergency.
All three equine ambulances can be lowered completely to ground level, allowing maximum ease in loading an injured horse. They incorporate a hydraulic "squeeze" apparatus to help an injured horse stand without causing further damage. A wench-driven stretcher allows for easy loading of an animal that is recumbent and unable to rise and the unit can accommodate two animals at one time. The ambulances can operate in any type of weather and on any type of track surface or condition.
At the same time, the Kimzey Splint was developed. The splint stabilizes a horse’s limb and minimizes any damage a horse might incur during transport and before surgery is performed.
The success of these two innovations is magnified by their adoption by racetracks throughout the country. Replicas of the ambulances and Kimzey Splint are now seen at leading racetracks around the world.