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Equine Medical Center obtains ambulance

By Jeffrey S. Douglas

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 31 - May 22, 1997

The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center has acquired an ambulance which will be available to service emergency equine-medical needs that arise at steeplechase and point-to-point races during the spring 1997 season.

The ambulance will provide emergency transport from the accident scene to a staging area where horses can be treated by course veterinarians or taken to a veterinary hospital.

The custom-designed trailer was built for the Equine Medical Center by Merhow Industries of Bristol, Indiana. It is equipped with a winch that powers a sled, sling, and hoist assembly capable of loading an incapacitated animal into the ambulance. Taller and wider than the stock-model trailer, the EMC ambulance also includes extra padding and a special ventilation system.

Three teams of volunteers are being assembled to operate the ambulance service during the estimated 24 area races scheduled during the 1997 season, according to G. Frederick Fregin, EMC hospital director.

The equine ambulance has been acquired to service races and other events, Fregin said. The center has not established an emergency ambulance service for farms.

Gifts from the Great Meadows Foundation, the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, and the Ohrstrom Foundation helped finance the acquisition. Funds raised for the EMC during the "Roundup at Rutledge" and a polo-match benefit held at Potomac Polo were also used.

Established in 1984 with gifts from the late Marion duPont Scott and the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, the EMC is an advanced-care referral hospital for horses. Owned by Virginia Tech, the EMC serves as one of three campuses operated by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.