Churchill Downs to Install PET Scan at On-Site Equine Medical Center


Edited Press Release

A major technological medical advancement that can help detect and prevent equine medical injuries is coming to Churchill Downs Racetrack.

In conjunction with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and the PetVet Care Centers network, Churchill Downs will soon install an equine PET scan machine at its Equine Medical Center in the Churchill Downs stable area that will help veterinarians and horsemen assess the racing soundness of Thoroughbred horses that compete at the historic Louisville racetrack.

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a diagnostic imaging test that can help identify abnormal metabolic activity in the bones of a racehorse's fetlock (ankle). Recent scientific studies have supported PET image findings as a highly effective diagnostic approach for identifying potential issues in the lower limbs of race horses.

The pairing of PET scans with other imaging methods will greatly advance the identification of at-risk horses. This will allow for early veterinary intervention to improve both the safety and welfare of race horses.

“We are beyond excited to able to partner with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, a world-class equine hospital in Lexington, Ky. to bring this ground-breaking diagnostic imaging to Churchill Downs,” said Dr. William Farmer, Equine Medical Director for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “To be able to have this advanced level of diagnostics available on-site is a great step forward to improving the welfare and safety of our local horses.”

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