Sinead Halpin sent us a statement on Tate’s spring campaign, which has been recently altered after a clinical evaluation with the Team USA vets. While we’re disappointed we won’t be seeing Sinead and Tate rock Rolex, we’re totally supportive that Team SHE is putting Tate’s health first. Best wishes to Team SHE going forward. Go WEG 2014!
We are off to a crazy start down here in Ocala, just having arrived with 13 horses, six people and two dogs! We have already had three days of team training sessions where Tate and Cue were superstars. We also had 10 horses competing at the last few Florida-based events. It is really great to be able to start the season down here, and it’s very exciting to be part of the changes that are happening in our sport. Some of these changes are a new coach, a new veterinary panel and new selectors. Everyone seems to be navigating these adjustments quite well.
The first apparent change in format is how the vet evaluations at the first training session were conducted. After the third day of sessions, all the horses had a full work up, including flexions, scans and an updated history on paper. The hope is that this way we have a starting point and can get ahead of things instead of playing catch up at major competitions. Tate looked fantastic in his clinical evaluation, showing no sensitivity to flexions and also looking great (and wild) on a circle. During the second part of evaluations, Dr. Revenaugh found a weakened area in one of Tate’s scans. This was very surprising because Tate was as close to perfect as you can get in a clinical exam.
Following the exam, Coach O’Connor, Dr. Revenaugh, Dr. Furlong and I had a good chat about moving forward. With the ultimate goal being the WEG in Normandy in August 2014, we decided that we should spend the next few months strengthening this weakness. Our original plan of Rolex this spring seems an unnecessary risk if it’s going to compromise the horse or the big picture plan with Team USA.
This new veterinary process is already proof that the new team system is working. We hopefully stopped a problem before it happened, as well as established an open level of communication between coach, rider, vet and owner. I am pleased to say that those involved with the Tate and On Cue syndicate have been amazing and fully supportive of putting the horse first.
The support that Tate and I have received over the past year has been incredible. I was really looking forward to competing at Rolex and hopefully allowing some of Tate’s supporters to come out and see him do his thing, but for the moment the timing is not quite right, and, as we have learned in the past year, timing is everything. Some people might ask why I am sharing this information publicly, and, to be honest, I feel like I owe it to all those who have been part of this ongoing journey with us. Tate is completely sound and happy. He is staying in full flatwork — his precious night turnout is not being taken away — and he will still take part in Team USA training sessions.
Thank you for your continued support and Go USA!
Sinead and Team S.H.E